APEC summit in Hawaii set to kick off

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Senate panel approves DOMA repeal legislation

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/11/10/breaking-senate-panel-approves-doma-repeal-legislation/

By Chris Johnson
November 10, 2011

A Senate committee took historic action on Thursday against the Defense of Marriage Act by approving legislation that would lift the anti-gay law from the books.

The Senate Judiciary Committee reported the legislation to the floor by a vote of 10-8 along a party-line basis. Each of the 10 Democrats on the panel voted in favor of the legislation, while all 8 Republicans present opposed it.

The committee vote marks the first-time ever that any component of Congress has voted to repeal DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, since it was first enacted in 1996.

Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in his opening statement said legislation to repeal DOMA, which is known as the Respect for Marriage Act, is necessary because “thousands of American families are now being treated unfairly by their federal government.”

“They are shunted aside — singled out from all other marriages recognized by their states,” Leahy said. “This unfairness must end. The Respect for Marriage Act would provide for the equal treatment of all lawful treatment of all lawful marriages in this country by repealing DOMA.”

Whether the bill will come to a vote before the full Senate remains to be seen. In addition to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the bill’s sponsor, the bill only has 30 co-sponsors — far short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Senate filibuster.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/11/10/breaking-senate-panel-approves-doma-repeal-legislation/

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West Hollywood endorses first fur ban in the U.S.

I used to have a fur jacket. Many years ago.

That was before Animal Planet and all those National Geographic shows helped raise my consciousness regarding how beautiful animals are and how their lives and emotions may not be the same as ours but are just as real.

When I see how farm animals are treated in the meat factories I think I should give up meat.

I remain an omnivore and I don’t have a problem with leather that is part of the animals we eat.

Outside of rabbits we don’t tend to consume fur bearing critters.

So my standard has become one of:  If you don’t eat the body of the animal then you don’t wear the skin of that animal.

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/11/10/west-hollywood-endorses-first-fur-ban-in-the-u-s/

By Reuters
Thursday, November 10, 2011

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Putting animal rights over fashion and its own vibrant shopping scene, West Hollywood’s leaders voted to approve on Tuesday a first-in-the-nation ban on the sale of fur clothing within city limits.

The five-member City Council of the tiny, tony municipality wedged between Beverly Hills and Hollywood voted 3-to-1 with one abstention to endorse the ordinance, which would take effect in 2013, said City Councilman John Heilman, who voted “no.”

The ban was tentatively adopted by the council on September 20 and had been expected to win easy enactment two weeks later. But it ran into stiff opposition from the local Chamber of Commerce and the fur industry, whose main trade group, the Fur Information Council of America, is based in West Hollywood.

Ultimately, the city’s famously left-leaning political establishment embraced the ban, won over by supporters’ arguments that furs are produced from animals that are inhumanely killed for their pelts.

The latest vote came shortly before 1 a.m., capping a contentious, hours-long debate.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/11/10/west-hollywood-endorses-first-fur-ban-in-the-u-s/

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Penn State Thugs Riot in Support of Coach Who Hid Child Rape Scandal

Where were the Riot Squad Police with the body armor?

Where was the massive tear gas application?

Why weren’t these criminal thugs fired upon with Rubber Bullets and Bean Bags?

Oh I forgot those sorts of things and language only applies to left wing demonstrators.  Describing them as violent thugs only applies to left wing demonstrators who smash corporate windows and not to those who support athletic programs and privileged jocks.

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/10/penn-state-students-protest-paterno?INTCMP=SRCH

Penn State students subdued by police during unruly protest

Police in riot gear use pepper spray on students protested the firing of football coach Joe Paterno

Associated Press
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 10 November 2011

Thousands of Penn State University students took to the streets around campus overnight on Thursday to protest the sacking of their beloved football coach, Joe Paterno, in the fallout from a child abuse scandal and cover-up.

Chanting “Hell no, Joe won’t go” and “We want Joe back,” students overturned a television van during the protest in the university town of State College.

Scores of police and state troopers, some in riot gear, tried to clear the streets, and some officers used pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators.

Authorities were not immediately available to say whether there had been any arrests.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/10/penn-state-students-protest-paterno?INTCMP=SRCH

Penn State Scandal: Jerry Sandusky Rumored To Have ‘Pimped’ Boys To Donors: REPORT

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/penn-state-scandal-rumors-sandusky-pimping_n_1086099.html


First Posted: 11/10/11

In the frenzied hours after the Penn State Board of Trustees announced that Joe Paterno was being relieved of his duties as football coach effective immediately, students in State College took to the streets in support of the former coach while college football analysts around the country sought to place his fall from grace in perspective.

Several hours earlier, Paterno had issued an independent statement, revealing his own intention to retire after the season. Clearly, the Board of Trustees felt Paterno needed to go sooner for his complicity in — or, at least, his indifference toward — the heinous sexual assaults allegedly committed by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

With Paterno’s career having come to a sudden, inglorious conclusion and Beaver Canyon overrun with students, some whom flipped two television news trucks, it seemed that Penn State had reached its nadir.

Perhaps not.

Shockingly, there are reports that even more depraved details about the sexual crimes allegedly committed by Sandusky will be revealed in the coming days. As the quasi-riots shook the Penn State campus late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning, SportsByBrooks began tweeting ominous messages about allegations that have yet to become public.

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/penn-state-scandal-rumors-sandusky-pimping_n_1086099.html

Trans sex workers still most vulnerable

From Xtra-Canada’s Gay and Lesbian News: http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Trans_sex_workers_still_most_vulnerable-11058.aspx

Andrea Houston
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Republished with permission

Morgan M Page sometimes wishes she could reach back and hug her 12-year-old self: a lost and confused drug addicted trans sex worker on the streets of Hamilton.

Page, 24, now leads trans programming at Toronto’s 519 Church Street Community Centre, including the annual Trans Day of Remembrance on Nov 18.  The event commemorates trans people who have been murdered.

“If you look at the list of names that we read on Trans Day of Remembrance almost all of them are trans sex workers of colour,” Page points out.

However, violence against trans people, at least in Canada, seems to be decreasing. In 2010, police in Winnipeg arrested a Saskatchewan man in connection with the murder of a trans sex-trade worker six years before. The number is low in Canada, she says.

This is not the case elsewhere. According to Trans Murder Monitoring numbers released in 2010, there have been more than 420 reported murders of trans people since 2008, which means a trans person is killed every three days.

“A key factor in all those murders is whether or not they were sex workers,” she says. “The discrimination and stigma faced by sex workers is likely a major contributing factor towards the murder of trans people. That’s why we should push for the decriminalization of sex work in Canada and other countries.”

Page worked as a sex worker, on and off, between the ages of 12 and 18.

Morgan Page looks out the window of Fabarnak, the in-house cafe at the 519 Church Street.
(Andrea Houston)

When she first started, she says she saw dollar signs and an easy way to pay for the party drugs she was taking. She didn’t yet publicly identify as trans. “I lived in a glass closet,” she says now.

“I was underage, street sex work tends to be much more dangerous . . . It was quite a scary experience.

“I was pretty frightened most of the time that I was doing it . . . I was worried there would be violence, worried about my sexual health and whether my parents or friends would find out. It was an anxiety-causing experience. But I just kept going back and doing it. Money and excitement.”

Page was lucky. She experienced minimal violence from her clients. “There were a lot of pushy clients and grabby clients, who probably wouldn’t have taken no for an answer if I said no.”

Page says many street-based sex workers are moving off the streets and onto the Internet, except for trans sex workers who, for the most part, have stayed on the streets.

There are several reasons for this, Page says, including poverty, addiction, HIV status, isolation and homelessness. There is also a sense of family, she says. “Trans sex workers are more likely to find community on the streets or in clubs, like street mothers. That’s powerful and helpful, like an informal support network.”

Page says as a teenager, she identified as gender queer before coming out as trans at 16.

“At some point through the transition process I dropped the drugs I was addicted to,” she says. “As a result I didn’t have any motivation to continue in sex work. For me, sex work was a way to get money for drugs and validation.”

That validation is intoxicating, she says. “Especially for trans women, we find our validation in doing sex work, which is not necessarily true for other sex workers. People who interpreted me as trans were valuing me in a sexual way, valuing me at all.”

Page remembers being viciously bullied in school. She eventually dropped out. “So, it was powerful to have people want you around.”

When Page turned 18 her mother died, at which point a friend’s mother started taking care of her and got her involved in sex worker activism in Hamilton.

Page arrived in Toronto in 2007 with an eighth-grade education. Then, in 2008, she helped organize protests to fight the Homewood-Maitland Safety Association, which was attempting to push trans sex workers out of their neighbourhood in downtown Toronto.

Page says she is actively following the ongoing debate around the Homewood stroll.

In 2010, she launched T-GUAVA (Trans Girls and Guys United Against Violent Assault), a series of workshops for trans youth about intimate partner abuse.

Not long after the 2008 protests on Homewood St, Page landed a youth placement at the 519, which eventually led to her current job.

In June, Page won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Empowerment at the LGBT Youth Line awards.

She is looking forward to this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance. The 519 will honour trans people who have been murdered around the world, and their names will be read aloud at the solemn event.

The Toronto event will also feature speeches and performances by several members of the trans community, such as dancers Ill Nana. “This is the only event all year that centres directly around trans people. Most queer events ignore us, and as a result, ignore the continued violence that continues to marginalize trans people, especially trans sex workers.”

Page is thankful for Toronto’s trans services, like those provided at the 519, but she reminds that the situation is very different outside Toronto.

“We have to do more to help trans youth in rural areas because there’s nothing right now . . . Coming out in Hamilton sucked, so bad. We have to reach out to youth.”

Trans Day of Remembrance was started to commemorate the life of Rita Hester, an African-American trans woman murdered in 1998. It is celebrated in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and other cities across Canada and the US.

Trans Day of Remembrance events, vigils and services across Canada:

Toronto, Ontario
Nov 18, 7pm to 9pm
At the 519 Church Street Community Centre
For more information, email Page at mpage@the519.org
Toronto, Ontario
November 28 from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm
At the William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks St
Contact: tig.action.toronto@gmail.com

Hamilton, Ontario
Nov 20 at 7pm
At the Skydragon Centre at 27 King William St
Page is speaking at the event. Email her mpage@the519.org

Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa marks Trans Weekend Nov 18 to 20
Flag-raising at Ottawa Police Headquarters Nov 18 at 6pm
A political meet and greet on Nov 19 from 2pm to 4pm at the City Hall council lounge
Trans Day of Remembrance dance celebration from 10pm to 2am at legion at 330 Kent St (all ages)
Trans Vigil from 7pm to 8pm at the human rights monument at the corner of Elgin and Lissar streets
For more information, email Page at mpage@the519.org

Guelph, Ontario
Nov 15 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
The event includes a Trans film screening
At the AIDS Committee of Guelph
Located in the Guelph Medical Place 2, unit 15, at 89 Dawson Rd


Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nov 20 from 7pm to 9pm. doors open at 6.30pm.
At Veith House (3115 Veith St)
For more information, email tdor.hlfx@gmail.com


Sackville, New Brunswick

Nov 19 at 7pm
At the Mount Allison University Chapel (15 Salem Street)
For more information, email Amelia at catalyst@mta.ca
Calgary, Alberta
Nov 20, 2011 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm
At The Old Y 223 at 12 Avenue SW
For a full list of International Trans Day of Remembrance events, click here. 
93 murdered trans persons (Jan to June 2010) 93 Murdered Trans Persons by Country (Jan to June 2010)

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The Tide Is Turning (Re: Occupy)

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The Fire Next Time is Now: On Planetary Patriotism

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/08-1

by Robert Jensen
Published on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

Angus Wright has a way of saying things we may not want to hear in a way that’s hard to ignore.

An example: During a meeting of environmentalists about shaping the public conversation on our most pressing ecological crises, folks were wrestling with how to present an honest analysis in accessible language — how to talk about the bad news and the need for radical responses, without turning people off. During the discussion about the effects of climate change, Wright offered a simple suggestion for a slogan: “No more water, the fire next time.”

Those words from a black spiritual, made famous by James Baldwin’s borrowing for his 1963 book “The Fire Next Time,” are usually invoked metaphorically. Wright was suggesting that we might want to consider the phrase literally. After a summer of drought and forest fires in Texas where I live, Wright’s comment reminded me that climate disruption isn’t part of some science-fiction future, but is unfolding around us in ways that are both complex and hard to predict, but devastating simple: We’re in deep trouble, ecologically and culturally, as we try to face up to unprecedented planetary problems in a society in denial.

Wright is one of our most astute observers of these troubles. His willingness to face these issues, and his ability to grasp the interplay of complex systems, is no surprise to readers of his book The Death of Ramon Gonzalez: The Modern Agricultural Dilemma, first published in 1990 and revised for a 2005 edition. Looking at one region in Mexico, Wright explains how political and economic power, combined with the arrogance of experts who believe they have all the answers, have radically changed people, communities, and land — mostly for the worse.

Though Wright speaks bluntly about these grim realities, he hasn’t given up trying to change the trajectory of a society that so often denies or minimizes the threat. A retired professor of environmental studies at California State University, Sacramento, Wright is the chair of the board of The Land Institute, which is committed to the research and organizing necessary for a truly sustainable agriculture. His writing also focuses on those issues — he is co-author of To Inherit the Earth: The Landless Movement in the Struggle for a New Brazil (with Wendy Wolford) and Nature’s Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation, and Food Sovereignty (with Ivette Perfecto and John Vandermeer).

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/08-1

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Greece and the dictatorship of finance

From World Socialist Web Site:   http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/pers-n09.shtml

Peter Schwarz
9 November 2011

Ancient Athens is considered to be the cradle of European democracy. Modern Athens is threatening to become its grave. The events that have rocked Greece in recent days are a lesson and a warning for all of Europe.

Three weeks ago a two-day general strike brought the country to a halt. Since then there has been one crisis summit after another—in Athens, Brussels, Cannes. The result is a new government in Greece without any democratic legitimacy intent on imposing the dictates of the financial markets upon the working population.

If one regards democracy to be the determination by the broad masses of the people of their own destiny, or even just the composition of a government, then there is no longer any democracy in Athens. There is no longer the pretense that the sovereign power is the people. It is rather the “troika,” consisting of the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB). The prospective new prime minister, Lucas Papademos, a former vice-president of the ECB, has been selected by, and is answerable to, the troika.

What is happening in Athens is increasingly the rule rather the exception. In recent months the four other highly indebted countries in the euro zone—Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain—have either gone through, or are on the verge of, a change in government. On each occasion the initiative came from the representatives of finance capital and big business. The most important prerequisite in the selection of each new government is its ability to implement unpopular economic measures while resisting any concessions to public pressure.

Sooner rather than later other European countries will be the victims of the same process. In France, the Fillon government has just announced a new austerity program of over €65 billion. And export-oriented Germany is more dependent than any other country on the rest of Europe.

Continue reading at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/pers-n09.shtml

 

Beating Babies in the Name of Jesus? The Shady World of Right-Wing ‘Discipline’ Guides

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/belief/153006/beating_babies_in_the_name_of_jesus_the_shady_world_of_right-wing_%27discipline%27_guides/

There is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God.

By Frank Schaeffer
November 8, 2011

There is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God. Two stories recently converged to make us pay attention. Last week, a video went viral of a Texas judge brutally whipping his disabled daughter. And on Monday, the New York Times published a story about child deaths in homes that have embraced the teachings of To Train Up a Child, a book by Christian preacher Michael Pearl that advocates using a switch on children as young as six months old.

What many people may not realize is that in the evangelical alternative universe of the home school movement, tightly knit church communities and the following of a number of big-time leaders and authors, physical punishment of children has been glorified for years.

As the Times illustrates — “Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths Fuel Debate” — the books of Michael Pearl and his wife Debi have been found in the homes where several children were killed.

They’re not the only right-wing Christians who advocate these methods. Some of the most respected evangelical discipline gurus have made beating children not just “respectable” in conservative religious circles, but even turned it into a godly activity.

In 1977 James Dobson founder of the “Focus on the Family” religious empire and radio program, wrote a book called Dare To Discipline, whose purpose was, essentially, to get parents to beat their children.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/belief/153006/beating_babies_in_the_name_of_jesus_the_shady_world_of_right-wing_%27discipline%27_guides/

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How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich

From Rolling Stone:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-the-gop-became-the-party-of-the-rich-20111109

The inside story of how the Republicans abandoned the poor and the middle class to pursue their relentless agenda of tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent

By Tim Dickinson
November 9, 2011

The nation is still recovering from a crushing recession that sent unemployment hovering above nine percent for two straight years. The president, mindful of soaring deficits, is pushing bold action to shore up the nation’s balance sheet. Cloaking himself in the language of class warfare, he calls on a hostile Congress to end wasteful tax breaks for the rich. “We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share,” he thunders to a crowd in Georgia. Such tax loopholes, he adds, “sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary – and that’s crazy.”

Preacherlike, the president draws the crowd into a call-and-response. “Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver,” he demands, “or less?”

The crowd, sounding every bit like the protesters from Occupy Wall Street, roars back: “MORE!”

The year was 1985. The president was Ronald Wilson Reagan. Today’s Republican Party may revere Reagan as the patron saint of low taxation. But the party of Reagan – which understood that higher taxes on the rich are sometimes required to cure ruinous deficits – is dead and gone. Instead, the modern GOP has undergone a radical transformation, reorganizing itself around a grotesque proposition: that the wealthy should grow wealthier still, whatever the consequences for the rest of us.

Modern-day Republicans have become, quite simply, the Party of the One Percent – the Party of the Rich.

“The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility,” says David Stockman, who served as budget director under Reagan. “They’re on an anti-tax jihad – one that benefits the prosperous classes.”

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We’re Spending More on Nukes Than We Did During the Cold War?!

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/nuclear-weapons-complex-budget-disarmament

How America is beefing up its nuclear capacity even as it tells the world it plans to forsake its arsenal.

—By Adam Weinstein
November 9, 2011

On April 5, 2009, President Barack Obama took the stage before 20,000 people in Prague’s Hradcany Square to offer an ambitious global vision. “Today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” he told the open-air audience in the former Eastern Bloc capital. “To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same.”

Also see: A map of the nuclear bombs in your  backyard and a look at some of the wackiest (and worst) ideas for using atomic weapons.

The timing of his bold promise seemed perfect. Russia was ready to whittle down its destructive power; a year later, Obama and President Dmitri Medvedev would sign a treaty limiting both countries to 1,500 active warheads—though still enough to annihilate millions of people, a 50 percent reduction to each nation’s atomic arsenal. Back home, lawmakers on Capitol Hill were scrutinizing the federal budget for unnecessary spending, and nuclear weapons no longer appeared to be off limits.

Even the military brass was moving away from relying upon nuclear deterrence. The Pentagon’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (PDF) concluded that “[t]he massive nuclear arsenal we inherited from the Cold War era of bipolar military confrontation is poorly suited to address the challenges posed by suicidal terrorists and unfriendly regimes seeking nuclear weapons.”

But shrinking America’s nuclear arsenal has turned out to be far easier said than done. Despite the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) cuts, federal spending on the atomic stockpile is actually beyond Cold War levels, driven by congressional hawks and powerful nuclear labs eager to “modernize” the arsenal and fund projects that could spark a new arms race.

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/nuclear-weapons-complex-budget-disarmament

Ohio election results: union curbs thrown out in blow to Republicans

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/09/ohio-election-results-union-curbs

Government fails in bid to limit bargaining powers of public sector workers as states go to the polls on a range of issues

Associated Press
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 9 November 2011

Voters in Ohio have overwhelmingly rejected a law curbing union bargaining rights for public employees, dealing a blow to the Republican establishment in a swing state that could prove pivotal in deciding the outcome of next year’s presidential election.

The vote buoyed Democrats who are hoping to rebound from their sweeping losses in 2010, though experts agree the economy is still the biggest issue. “If the economy were to turn around in the next year, that’s going to matter a lot more than what happens in ballot issues,” said political analyst Justin Buchler.

Ohio’s bill went further than a similar one in Wisconsin by including police officers and firefighters, and was considered by many observers to be a barometer of the national mood on the political conundrum of the day: what is the appropriate size and role of government and who should pay for it.

Its defeat is anticipated to energise the labour movement, which largely supports the Democrats, ahead of Barack Obama’s re-election effort.

The result indicated that voters in the industrial mid-west may be growing disenchanted with the Tea Party-backed Republicans voted into office in 2010 who have advocated deep spending cuts and opposed tax increases.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/09/ohio-election-results-union-curbs

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Naomi Klein on Occupy Wall Street & Rebuilding a Greener Economy

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Defeating Personhood: A Critical But Incomplete Victory for Reproductive Justice

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/11/09/personhood-defeated-in-mississippi

by Loretta Ross, SisterSong
November 9, 2011

The headlines all say it – “Personhood defeated in Mississippi!” This was a tremendous victory for the pro-choice movement that started campaigning on the ground only September 8, years after proponents of the “Yes on 26” ballot initiative flooded the state with a superbly orchestrated campaign that included well-financed organizing and petition drives. As of this writing, 55 percent of the voters rejected this dangerous, precedent-setting initiative that would have declared a fertilized egg a “person” and outlawed most contraception, in vitro fertilization, and would have criminalized abortion – even in cases of rape and incest. These dangerous, unintended consequences even persuaded conservative voters to defeat the initiative, splitting the traditionally unified anti-abortion base.

Mississippi was a peoples’ victory, a triumph in which people of all backgrounds, races, professions and religions came together. Congratulations are definitely in order for the tireless activists in the state, and for those professional campaigners who came from out-of-state to direct the No on 26 campaign, led by Mississippians for Healthy Families. The grassroots efforts of many courageous Mississippi activists demonstrated that over-reaching zealots who do not care about women’s lives could be rebuffed even in the reddest, most religious, conservative state in the South. The professional campaign strategists were right – targeting their efforts at conservatives and independents by magnifying the anti-government sentiments in the state that are a holdover from the Civil Rights movement and the more recent stoking by the Tea Party.

The supporters of the personhood initiative could not hoodwink people in Mississippi because great folks like Valencia Robinson of SisterSong and Allison Korn of National Advocates for Pregnant Women threw their hearts into the campaign, knowing that Mississippi does not have the comparable pro-choice infrastructure that states like New York, California, and even Colorado have. It was a great success for the pro-choice movement and sets radical anti-abortionists back on their heels, after the millions of dollars they invested in the state.

It was not, however, a total victory for the Reproductive Justice movement. At the same time, Mississippi voters approved Initiative 27, a Voter ID exclusion initiative requiring government-issued identification in order to vote, a direct threat to the Voting Rights Act. Even on November 7, some black voters were questioned about their ID and their right to vote. One poll worker asked Michelle Colon, a grassroots activist, why she did not recognize her when Michelle voted at the same precinct she had used for seven years. The same voters who elected a Republican governor and supported Voter ID broke ranks and rejected the Personhood Initiative. What this means for future elections is ominous and should be carefully analyzed.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/11/09/personhood-defeated-in-mississippi

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European debt crisis spiralling out of control

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/nov/09/european-debt-crisis-eurozone-breakup

Reports that Germany and France have begun talks to break up the eurozone amid fears that Italy will be too big to rescue

, and in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 9 November 2011

Fears that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis was spiralling out of control have intensified as political chaos in Athens and Rome, and looming recession, created panic on world markets.

Reports emerging from Brussels said that Germany and France had begun preliminary talks on a break-up of the eurozone, amid fears that Italy would be too big to rescue.

Despite Silvio Berlusconi‘s announcement that he would step down as prime minister once austerity measures were pushed through parliament, a collapse of investor confidence in the eurozone’s third-biggest economy sent interest rates in Italy to the levels that triggered bailouts in Portugal, Greece and Ireland.

Italian bond yields surged through the critical 7% mark, at one point hitting 7.5%, amid concern that the deteriorating situation had moved the crisis into a dangerous new phase.

In Athens talks to appoint a prime minister to succeed George Papandreou were in deadlock, and will resume on Thursday morning. The Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, sought to reassure the markets by promising that Berlusconi would be leaving office soon.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the situation had become “unpleasant”, and called for eurozone members to accelerate plans for closer political integration. “It is time for a breakthrough to a new Europe,” she said. “Because the world is changing so much, we must be prepared to answer the challenges. That will mean more Europe, not less Europe.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/nov/09/european-debt-crisis-eurozone-breakup

From The New York Times:  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/this-is-the-way-the-euro-ends-2/

Paul Krugman
November 9, 2011

This is the way the euro ends.

This is the way the euro ends.

Not with a bang but with bunga-bunga.

Seriously, with Italian 10-years now well above 7 percent, we’re now in territory where all the vicious circles get into gear — and European leaders seem like deer caught in the headlights. And as Martin Wolf says today, the unthinkable — a euro breakup — has become all too thinkable:

A eurozone built on one-sided deflationary adjustment will fail. That seems certain. If the leaders of the eurozone insist on that policy, they will have to accept the result.

Complete article at:  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/this-is-the-way-the-euro-ends-2/

In Spain, Low Wages Become Increasingly Common

From NPR: http://www.npr.org/2011/11/08/141952709/in-spain-low-wages-become-increasingly-common?ft=1&f=1001

by Lauren Frayer
November 8, 2011

David Horcajada fishes a beer can out of his backpack at a Madrid square.

“Five years ago, believe me, there were really few people drinking on the streets,” he says. “Right now, everybody is drinking on the street because people cannot afford to pay for drinks at bars. So since we’re Spanish and we do drink, we party a lot, so it doesn’t matter if we don’t have money. We’ll keep doing it.”

Many in the crowd are what locals call mileuristas — workers on temporary contracts that pay 1 mil (1,000) euros a month, barely $1,400. That’s considered below the poverty line for a family in Spain, and just above it for a single adult. The word used to have a negative connotation. But not in this economy, Horcajada says.

 When somebody talks about labor-market reform, they think they want to turn the market into something like the U.S. market. But what they don’t realize is that they’ve got 30 percent of their workers with no job security whatsoever, in really inferior conditions, so that the others can enjoy the kind of job security that they have.

- Gayle Allard, economist at Madrid’s IE Business School

“When Spain was booming, like five years ago, just really young people, normally uneducated, were mileuristas,” he says. “The thing is that right now, a lot of people are becoming mileuristas, and a lot of people would like to become mileuristas, if they could.”

Ester Sanz would love to join the ranks of mileuristas. She’s a certified teacher but can’t find a full-time job.

“I finished my degree in June last year, and I have a job, but it’s only for one hour a day, so it’s only 200 euros, but nothing else,” she says.

Complete article at:  http://www.npr.org/2011/11/08/141952709/in-spain-low-wages-become-increasingly-common?ft=1&f=1001

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