Sketch of Suspect Wanted in the Murder of Transgender Woman In Hollywood

From LGBT POV:  http://www.lgbtpov.com/2011/11/sketch-of-suspect-wanted-in-the-murder-of-transgender-woman-in-hollywood/

by Karen Ocamb
November 18, 2011 | 5:33 PM

With permission

Police are looking for a person matching this description wanted in the murder of a transgender woman named Cassidy (aka Nathan Vickers) who was shot in the chest and killed in Hollywood on Lexington Avenue and Gower Street on Thursday night. He is also suspected in the robbery attempt against another transgender woman in Plummer Park in West Hollywood later that night.(Please click here for more information.)

Police believe that the suspect is possibly responsible for both incidents and should be considered armed with a black semi-automatic and dangerous. If suspect is seen, please contact law enforcement immediately. Do not attempt to apprehend.

Contact Detective Information: Hollywood Homicide Detectives: D. Vinton, Serial No. 31085, (213) 972-2901, 31085@LAPD.LACITY.ORG OR B. Goodkin, Serial No. 37039, (213) 972-2912, 37039@LAPD.LACITY.ORG

AFTER HOURS CONTACT HOLLYWOOD WATCH COMMANDER AT (213) 485-4628.

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ALERT: Transgender Woman Murdered in Hollywood, Another Shot at in Plummer Park

From LGBT POV: http://www.lgbtpov.com/2011/11/alert-transgender-woman-murdered-in-hollywood-another-shot-at-in-plummer-park/

by Karen Ocamb
November 18, 2011

Reposted with permission

Thursday night, Nov. 17, at around 9:55pm, a transgender woman named Cassidy (aka Nathan Vickers) was shot in the chest and killed in Hollywood on Lexington Avenue and Gower Street.

Police believe the same suspect may have been responsible for the attempted robbery of another African American transgender woman in Plummer Park in West Hollywood. The LAPD Crime Alert says the incident apparently occurred around 10:25 pm when the suspect “fired at the victim once with a black semi-automatic pistol.” The Alert says: “Suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.”

LAPD Det. Jim Hays says that the suspect is described as a Black male, around 5’ 9” tall, about 150 pounds, in his mid 20s-to-30 years old, with light facial hair, wearing a possible dark, hooded sweatshirt. He is believed to be a possible transient. He was last seen leaving Plummer Park riding a Beach-Cruiser-type bicycle.

Hays says the LAPD and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station are working closely together to find the suspect but would appreciate the public’s help.  If you have any information – please contact:

Hollywood Homicide Detectives: D. Vinton, Serial No. 31085, (213) 972-2901, 31085@LAPD.LACITY.ORG OR B. Goodkin, Serial No. 37039, (213) 972-2912, 37039@LAPD.LACITY.ORG

AFTER HOURS CONTACT HOLLYWOOD WATCH COMMANDER AT (213) 485-4628.

Transsexual and Transgender Day of Remembrance Weekend

Every year there is this long list of names of people we are supposed to get together and remember after they have been murdered.  They have become martyrs, whose deaths then can be used to push legislation that would do nothing to prevent these murders or even slow the pace at which they are happening.

Over 42 years ago in San Francisco and Berkeley the US Government under the aegis of the War on Poverty was actually doing something that helped anyone  who wanted help to get out of that absolute bottom of the ladder class, even transsexual and transgender people could enter War on Poverty programs and get assistance.

Today, over forty years later the right wing trumpets the big lie of what a failure the War on Poverty was, omitting the fact that the actual War on Poverty was strangled in its infancy by Richard Nixon.  Nixon replaced the War on Poverty with the Welfare Ghetto which was in turn killed off by Bill Clinton and the Republican Contract on America in the 1990s.

Why is this relevant to the murders of transsexual and transgender people in America?

There are two distinct classes of transsexual/transgender folks.  The privileged and the non-privileged.  Many of those among the privileged had a good deal of male privilege before transitioning in middle age, with that male privilege came the money for surgery and  most importantly careers that isolate them from the depredation of the streets, extreme poverty and hopelessness.

Others among those who come out young have white skin privilege, class privilege, educations and supportive loving families that keep them from falling into the lumpen classes where most of these murder victims are found.

The sad truth is that most of the people on the list of TS/TG people, who are murdered are people of color.  Racism is one part of the pattern of victimization that made these people vulnerable.  Religion that tells families to disown these kids is another.  Dire poverty leads people to prostitution.  Sometimes when I hear class and education privileged folks describe prostitution as being both sex-positive and a conscious lifestyle choice I want to smack them upside the head.

I sometimes think prostitution like the rampant drug and alcohol abuse found in both the transgender and transsexual communities are dirty secrets that no one in the rarefied lobbying world of Transgender Inc politics wants to see exposed for fear it will harm legislative efforts to pass such bills as a Trans-inclusive ENDA.

The chickens are coming home to roost on some forty years of class war and the neo-Apartheid that replaced Jim Crow in this country.  The pendulum is swinging back to the left, people are rejecting the Ayn Rand ethos of cruelty and are looking for alternatives that bring us all together.

Perhaps rather than just remembering the TS/TG folks who have been murdered it is time to start demanding solutions that might lessen the appallingly long list of victims we see each year.

Maybe we can act locally while thinking globally.

One thing that might be a good start would be for local support groups to reach out to long term post-SRS women who have been able to live clean and sober after having dealt with substance issues.  Or post-transsexual women who are former sex workers.

Ask them to come and speak at peer support group meetings, listen to them and learn from them rather than dismissing what they have to say.  Take what they are willing to give, but don’t demand they give more than they have to offer, because getting away from the scene is often a vital part in recovery from those issues.

Join with Occupy and make demands for economic justice, real jobs, for living wages along side of all the other minority groups, along side the unemployed and under-employed.

Demand programs that offer job training for everyone who has been discarded by this right wing regime, which operates on the principle of depraved indifference instead of equality and human dignity for all.

While we mourn these victims of obvious violence we need remember how young this violence starts.  The bullying, the parental abuse.  The spiritual abuse that comes from religious tyrants peddling hatred and bigotry in the name of religion.

Those who commit suicide, those who die of drug over doses are victims of the same mindset that led to the murders of those recognized as martyrs.

We, ourselves are guilty of malevolent neglect as long as we pretend not to see these problems within the various transsexual and transgender communities.

It isn’t enough to look at the names on these lists and weep.

It isn’t enough to focus on one aspect of oppression when most of the people getting murdered are oppressed for multiple reasons.

Employment non-discrimination measure won’t help kids who have drug problems and can’t pass a drug test that has become mandatory for employment.

Employment and housing non-discrimination won’t help the throw away transkid who is working the streets because her family threw her out to be prey for the wolves that look for victims among the people who society has declared to be human trash.

We must confront those who peddle hate in the name of religion.

We need to start questioning the steady stream of violence porn that has become a staple of movies and television.

We need to focus on local groups that address the needs of the kids on our own streets instead of funding lobbyists in organizations that continually beg for more money while showing little in the way of actual results.

Perhaps we need to consider supporting local efforts aimed at offering alternatives to addiction and sex work.  Shelters for the throwaway kids and those adult TS/TG folks who are homeless.

Time to Turn Out the Lights on Black Friday?

Time to say, “Fuck you!” to the Banks and Credit Card companies who sell us cheap crap while picking our pockets on interest.

Time to say good bye to the hype machine that bombards our every waking hour with ads telling us how much we need their junk, how much more our lives will be complete if we only buy this or that possession we never even have time to enjoy.

I radically simplified my camera rigs this last summer and found I use the all in one super-zoom camera more than I did the multi-lens DSLR.  Further it fits my needs for what I shoot these days.  Plus I had some extra cash to pay some bills. I’ve started looking at purchases much more carefully and I am working on ending my addiction to consuming as though buying something is a fix.

They started sending “Christmas Catalogs” at Labor Day this year, had “Christmas” trees up in stores the weekend before Halloween.

We don’t make much of anything here in the US, especially not the stuff that gets peddled on us during the “Christmas” season.

I put Christmas in quotes because the corporations have destroyed any and all connection to any sort of religion and replaced it with worship of consumption.

I’m an atheist but I still like holidays and feel more comfortable with those celebrated  in the  Wicca with its ties to earth, nature, sun and yearly cycles.

The nice thing about that is that pagan holidays haven’t been co-opted by the corporations and turned into excuses for buying and consuming.

From In These Times:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12283/black_friday/

By Kari Lydersen
Friday Nov 18, 2011

Next week, the frenzied competition between retailers and shoppers that is Black Friday—the day after Thansgiving, when the Christmas shopping season supposedly begins—will become even more intense. Major outlets, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, have announced that this year they will actually open on Thanksgiving night, as opposed to the wee hours of Friday morning.

A recent New York Times article explores what this means both for shoppers and for employees of these stores, who now must cut short their Thanksgiving meals and time with family. Workers say that in this economy, they can’t risk saying no to a request to work Thanksgiving day—and many shoppers seem to feel just as compelled to wait in line for hours before stores’ openings to make sure they get first crack at the deals.

The Times reports the encouraging observation that many shoppers are dismayed at the even-earlier opening times, in part because of their concern for store employees. Reporter Stephanie Clifford compares this to the early days of the consumer rights movement – in the late 1800s and early 1900s—before it shifted to being primarily about consumers’ own health and safety as opposed to concern for workers.

Meanwhile, for this year at least, many workers and consumers sound unable to resist the move to open earlier, even if they oppose it. Clifford writes:

Anthony Hardwick, 29, who works at a Target store in Omaha, said he would have to leave Thanksgiving dinner with his fiancée’s family so he could sleep before starting a shift around 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving, followed on Friday by a shift at his other job, at OfficeMax.

I’ve never gone shopping on Black Friday, so maybe I don’t understand just how good the deals are. But the idea that people feel compelled to wait in line for hours and lose sleep and family time to save some money brings up larger questions. I understand that much of the shopping is for Christmas presents, which are for family members, but the idea that people are foregoing valuable family time at Thanksgiving in order to be first in line to get a cheaper Christmas gift for what may be the same family members seems counterintuitive and disturbing.

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12283/black_friday/

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Girl Takes Life After Gender-Based Taunting

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/11/15/Girl_Takes_Life_After_Gender_Based_Taunting/

By Trudy Ring
November 15, 2011

A 10-year-old Illinois girl has committed suicide after enduring bullying that included being called a boy when she had her hair cut short.

Ashlynn Conner, who lived in the small town of Ridge Farm in eastern Illinois, was found hanged in her closet Friday night, and family members believe she took her own life due to bullying and teasing that had gone on for several years, the Associated Press reports.

“When she started cheering for youth football, we’d gotten her hair cut in a bob,” said Lory Hackney, her grandmother. “The kids started making fun of her then. They started calling her a boy.” She was subsequently called “fat,” “ugly,” and “slut,” relatives said.

Vermilion County sheriff Pat Hartshorn said investigators “are not ruling out bullying, but we don’t have any firm evidence to support bullying,” the AP reports.

However, Ashlynn’s mother, Stacy Conner, said the girl came home from school Thursday complaining about taunting by fellow students and asked if she could be home-schooled. Stacy told Ashlynn, a fifth-grade honor roll student who hoped to become a veterinarian, that she would discuss the teasing with her school principal this week. But Friday, shortly after having a phone conversation with a friend about the problem, Ashlynn was discovered hanging in the closet. Hackney, a retired nurse, tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate her granddaughter.

“I don’t know what was so bad she couldn’t wait,” Hackney told the AP.

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Activists protest mistreatment of transgender people in D.C.

From The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/activists-protest-mistreatment-of-transgender-people-in-dc/2011/11/17/gIQAv206VN_story.html

By Teresa Tomassoni,
Published: November 17, 2011

Xion Lopez came out as a transgender woman in August. Since then, the 20-year-old Northeast resident said, she has feared for her life.

“Every morning before I walk out of the house, I pray for safety,” she said at a Thursday rally outside the U.S. Attorney’s Office in downtown Washington, where she and about 35 other activists demanded that the District do more to protect transgender people from what they call a recent surge in violence and police bias against them.

Since July, at least 20 transgender women have been assaulted in the city, said Jason Terry, a volunteer from the DC Trans Coalition who testified Nov. 2 before the D.C. Council about police response to hate crimes.

Lopez’s friend Lashay Mclean, 23, who also identified as a woman, was fatally shot in the city’s Northeast in July. Police said two people walked up to Mclean, a.k.a. Myles Mclean, and another person, and one pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and shot McLean.

In September, Gaurav Gopalan, 35, an aeronautical engineer and theater director, was found dead in Columbia Heights while dressed in women’s clothing, although some of his close friends did not identify him as transgender. The death was later ruled a homicide by the D.C. medical examiner’s office, which cited “blunt-impact head trauma.” Neither slaying has been solved.

Complete article at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/activists-protest-mistreatment-of-transgender-people-in-dc/2011/11/17/gIQAv206VN_story.html

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Children’s Ombudsman / Every Child Has The Right To…Dave’s story

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Violent OWS arrests video: RT footage of cops in action

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Occupy day of action brings clashes and arrests in New York

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/17/occupy-day-of-action-new-york-arrests

Scuffles break out as Occupy movement’s efforts to disrupt Wall Street’s working day are thwarted by heavy police presence

and in New Yorkguardian.co.uk, Thursday 17 November 2011

Hundreds of demonstrators joined a heavily policed march through New York‘s financial district on Thursday as part of a national day of action to mark the Occupy movement‘s two-month anniversary.

They gathered at intersections around Wall Street, chanting and singing. But their plans to stop traders getting to work at the New York Stock Exchange were thwarted by police, some in riot gear, who blocked the surrounding streets, only allowing workers with ID passes though.

Many disgruntled workers claimed to be up to an hour late for work, including those from the NYSE, but the opening trading bell, which protesters had threatened to silence, rang at 9.30am as usual.

Scuffles broke out between police and protesters, with about 100 arrests by lunchtime. One of them was a retired Philadelphia police captain, Ray Lewis, who had joined the Occupy protest, according to a CNN reporter who witnessed the arrest.

The march was the first mass event in the city since protesters were evicted from Zuccotti Park on Tuesday by city authorities who cited public health and safety problems with the growing encampment. The turnout for the march in New York fell short of the “tens of thousands” organisers had hoped for, but they said they expected the evening rally in Foley Square, backed by a number of unions and community groups, to be the biggest event of the day.

Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/17/occupy-day-of-action-new-york-arrests

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Fierce clashes, firebombs as thousands flood Athens – RT 111117

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Austerity and Fascism in Greece: The Real 1% Doctrine

From The Smirking Chimp:  http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/mark-ames/39679/austerity-and-fascism-in-greece-the-real-1-doctrine

by Mark Ames
November 17, 2011

See the guy in the photo there, dangling an ax from his left hand? That’s Greece’s new “Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks” Makis Voridis captured back in the 1980s, when he led a fascist student group called “Student Alternative” at the University of Athens law school. It’s 1985, and Minister Voridis, dressed like some Kajagoogoo Nazi, is caught on camera patrolling the campus with his fellow fascists, hunting for suspected leftist students to bash. Voridis was booted out of law school that year, and sued by Greece’s National Association of Students for taking part in violent attacks on non-fascist law students.

With all the propaganda we’ve been fed about Greece’s new “austerity” government being staffed by non-ideological “technocrats,” it may come as a surprise that fascists are now considered “technocrats” to the mainstream media and Western banking interests. Then again, history shows that fascists have always been favored by the 1-percenters to deliver the austerity medicine.

This rather disturbing definition of what counts as “non-ideological” or “technocratic” in 2011 is something most folks are trying hard to ignore, which might explain why there’s been almost nothing about how Greece’s new EU-imposed austerity government includes neo-Nazis from the LAOS Party (LAOS is the acronym for Greece’s fascist political party, not the Southeast Asian paradise).

Which brings me back to the new Minister of Infrastructure, Makis Voridis. Before he was an ax-wielding law student, Voridis led another fascist youth group that supported the jailed leader of Greece’s 1967 military coup. Greece has been down this fascism route before, all under the guise of saving the nation and complaints about alleged parliamentary weakness. In 1967, the military overthrew democracy, imposed a fascist junta, jailed and tortured suspected leftist dissidents, and ran the country into the ground until the junta was overthrown by popular protest in 1974.

Continue reading at:  http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/mark-ames/39679/austerity-and-fascism-in-greece-the-real-1-doctrine

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RT inside ‘Day of Action’: Mass arrests, OWS blame NYPD for brutality

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Occupy Wall Street: A Lesson On An ‘Organic Movement’

From NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/11/17/142473380/occupy-wall-street-a-lesson-on-an-organic-movement

by Eyder Peralta
November 17, 2011

When you ask a lot of the Occupiers questions about their ideal government, they tell you then want an “organic” government or a “true democracy.” Something a lot like what they created at Zuccotti Park, they say.

That’s probably why there’s been so much press coverage about the confusion of the movement’s message. But, walking around and talking to many of the protesters today, it’s obvious that it’s a movement that has brought together a lot of people with very different ideologies.

Just a couple a couple of examples: Greg Packer, 47, said he was at Occupy Wall Street to protest against what he said were foreigners taking good jobs. While Debbie Williams, 50, said what brought her to the protest were her kids. She had a list of demands on a poster board, among them a demand for good jobs and free college tuition.

There was one moment at Zuccotti Park that really exemplified the loose nature of the movement.

Some time mid-afternoon, tensions between protesters and police boiled over. Police jumped the barricades and filled the park with a huge presence and went in to arrest one of the protesters. The park erupted; the drums got louder, the chants more urgent.

Continue reading at:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/11/17/142473380/occupy-wall-street-a-lesson-on-an-organic-movement

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MD Police Officer Huskens Speaks Out for Marriage Equality

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Sweden: Health care of transsexual persons causes unnecessary suffering

Perhaps it is me but I detect a strong anti-SRS subtext in this expression of “concern”.  Sterilization goes with the territory when it comes to having SRS.  Mandating non-sterilization would preclude transkids starting hormones at a young enough age to avoid puberty in their assigned birth sex.

From: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/uog-hot111511.php

Public release date: 15-Nov-2011
[ Print | E-mail | Share Share ] [ Close Window ]

Contact: Signe Bremer
signe.bremer@ethnology.gu.se
46-317-865-389
University of Gothenburg

Health care of transsexual persons causes unnecessary suffering

In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to legislate healthcare for transsexualism within the state-financed healthcare system. In an international perspective, this was considered to be radical. It was expected that the life situation of people in the transsexual group would improve, now that state-financed healthcare was available for this group. A thesis published at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, however, describes this care as an oppressive gender-conservative system that causes suffering for transsexual persons.

“Those who qualify for gender-corrective measures also known as sex reassignment treatment, become legally acknowledged as the gender in which they recognise themselves. But a prerequisite for this is that they lose something: namely the possibility of having biological children, since the law states that a transsexual person must be sterilised (sterile) “, says ethnologist Signe Bremer. Her thesis describes studies of autobiographical blogs and in-depth interviews with people at various stages of gender-corrective care.

The requirement for sterilisation is not the only aspect that causes suffering. The compulsory psychiatric gender investigation of minimum duration 2 years for those who wish to change their legal sexual identity can also give rise to anxiety.

“Waiting is sometimes experienced as being nearly impossible to bear”, says Signe Bremer.

Her thesis shows that the physical bodies that transsexual persons wish to correct, play an important role in the assessments made by the psychiatric system about who is considered to be suitable for gender correction. A transsexual woman who demonstrates visible beard stubble, for example, may receive negative comments, while a transsexual man with a muscular body and flat chest may receive compliments. In summary, a “suitable” body can be described as a body that health care staff consider compatible with that gender that the transsexual person recognise him/her-self.

“The investigations seem to be based on the belief that a good life as a legally recognised woman or man goes hand in hand with a person’s ability to blend in. The investigators fail to realise that every person has, in fact, a unique appearance. Furthermore, I have shown that it is often the investigating personnel, and not the transsexual person, who emphasises the importance of being able to blend in, just as any ‘normal’ woman or man”, says Signe Bremer.

According to accurate gender corrective health care logic, people’s bodies should be unequivocally materialised as one or the other sex. A woman should, for example, not have a penis and a man should not be able to get pregnant. Signe Bremer’s results show not only that a similar way of thinking is prevalent within the group of transsexual persons, but also that transsexual people exercise resistance against the heteronormative principles of the healthcare system. Far from all transsexual women, for example, feel the aversion to a penis that medical practitioners maintain as prerequisites for ‘authentic’ transsexualism. Many transsexual men are also critical to the requirement that the uterus must be surgically removed.

“The gender investigation tends to focus heavily on the genitals. One of the transsexual women I interviewed did not express sufficient rejection of her sexual organ, and the investigation was delayed because of this”, says Signe Bremer.

Signe Bremer is critical to the common perception of transsexualism as synonymous with the experience of being born in the wrong body.

“We live in a society that is dominated by the idea that there are only two types of people – feminine women who are born with a vagina and masculine men who are born with a penis. Healthcare for transsexual persons is a part of society, and this idea therefore also characterises the conditions required for gender-corrective measures. The work presented in my thesis shows that this often has serious consequences for the life of an individual”, says Signe Bremer.

Trans specific health care is part of society, consequently the same gender norms and beliefs characterizes prevailing conditions for gender correction. My thesis shows that this often has severe consequences for individual persons’ lives, says Signe Bremer.

###

The thesis Kroppslinjer – Kön, transsexualism och kropp i berättelser om könskorrigering (” Bodylines – Gender, transsexualism and embodiment in narratives on gender correction”) has been successfully defended.

SOPA, The Internet Censorship Bill, Was Lauded By Both Parties In Key House Hearing

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/sopa-internet-censorship-online-piracy-house-hearing_n_1098255.html

First Posted: 11/16/11

WASHINGTON — At a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans joined together to voice support for legislation that would criminalize much of the activity that occupies the Internet. The bipartisan bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act would establish major new powers for corporations intent on corralling copyrighted materials — powers that would lead to big legal bills for start-ups and Silicon Valley giants alike.

SOPA’s Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, was already voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in September.

Both political parties — flush with campaign contributions from Hollywood studios and trial lawyers — are eager to pass the legislation. The Senate version, introduced in May, has broad support, but has been held up by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Without Wyden’s hold, the legislation looks certain to pass by a landslide. The House version, introduced last month, was written by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.).

“The theft of American intellectual property costs the American economy over $100 billion annually … and thousands of American jobs,” Smith declared at Wednesday’s hearing.

“I am very pleased that this is a bipartisan bill, and I think that that’s very important,” Conyers added.

But generating all this enthusiasm is legislation that would shift the balance of power over the Internet.

Under current practice, copyright owners such as TV networks and Hollywood studios reach out to websites to request that pirated videos be taken down. Under the new regime, they could ask banks, Internet service providers and domain name registrars to stop doing business with websites that they believed were devoted to piracy. They could, for instance, go straight to YouTube’s domain registration company and demand that the entire YouTube website be taken down. And if the registrar resisted, the copyright owners would have the legal ability to take the registrar to court.

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/sopa-internet-censorship-online-piracy-house-hearing_n_1098255.html

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Hartmann: Frack the Delaware

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Wind Power to be as Cheap as Natural Gas by 2016

From Treehugger: http://www.treehugger.com/energy-policy/wind-power-be-cheap-natural-gas-2016.html

Brian Merchant
November 14, 2011

In a few places, wind power is already as cheap as natural gas or coal-fired electricity. By and large, however, it’s still a bit more expensive in most regions ’round the world. But not for long.

Climate Progress points us to this report in Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which has the scoop: “The cost of electricity from onshore wind turbines will drop 12% in the next five years thanks to a mix of lower-cost equipment and gains in output efficiency.”

And that 12% drop will have huge implications, as Bloomberg reports: “The best wind farms in the world already produce power as economically as coal, gas and nuclear generators; the average wind farm will be fully competitive by 2016.”

This means that wind power will hit grid parity pretty much everywhere in just a handful of years — which is really encouraging news for clean energy advocates. The two factors that have led to the plummeting cost of installing and operating wind power are a) improvements in technology that have increased generation capacity — read: bigger, more efficient, more aerodynamic turbines. And b) an estimated 7% “experience curve”; Bloomberg has determined that costs have dropped 7% every time the worldwide wind power capacity has doubled. And since we started with 0.3 GW in 1984, and will now have 240 GW by the end of the year, that’s a whole lot of cost reduction.

Continue reading at:  http://www.treehugger.com/energy-policy/wind-power-be-cheap-natural-gas-2016.html

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US Government Confirms Link Between Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing

From Energy Daily: http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/US_Government_Confirms_Link_Between_Earthquakes_and_Hydraulic_Fracturing_999.html

by John C.K. Daly
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 15, 2011

On 5 November an earthquake measuring 5.6 rattled Oklahoma and was felt as far away as Illinois. Until two years ago Oklahoma typically had about 50 earthquakes a year, but in 2010, 1,047 quakes shook the state. Why? In Lincoln County, where most of this past weekend’s seismic incidents were centered, there are 181 injection wells, according to Matt Skinner, an official from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the agency which oversees oil and gas production in the state.

Cause and effect?

The practice of injecting water into deep rock formations causes earthquakes, both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Geological Survey have concluded.

The U.S. natural gas industry pumps a mixture of water and assorted chemicals deep underground to shatter sediment layers containing natural gas, a process called hydraulic fracturing, known more informally as “fracking.” While environmental groups have primarily focused on fracking’s capacity to pollute underground water, a more ominous byproduct emerges from U.S. government studies – that forcing fluids under high pressure deep underground produces increased regional seismic activity.

As the U.S. natural gas industry mounts an unprecedented and expensive advertising campaign to convince the public that such practices are environmentally benign, U.S. government agencies have determined otherwise.

Continue reading at:  http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/US_Government_Confirms_Link_Between_Earthquakes_and_Hydraulic_Fracturing_999.html

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‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters march on Brooklyn Bridge after clashes

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/11/17/occupy-wall-street-protesters-march-on-brooklyn-bridge-after-clashes/

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Thursday after earlier clashes with police led to over 200 arrests on the two-month anniversary of the anti-capitalist movement.

The evening march, which took place without incident, was a show of force for the Occupy Wall Street campaign which has gone global, despite some recent setbacks including the clearing of the movement’s home base in a New York park.

The New York protests were part of a “Global Day of Action” with hundreds of demonstrations planned across the United States. Police evicted protesters in Los Angeles and Dallas, arresting dozens of people.

In London, protesters refused to budge as a deadline to leave their camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral by 1800 GMT passed, with the City of London Corporation now expected to start legal action to remove them.

Thousands also marched in Spain and Athens to protest austerity measures and public spending cuts, although the demonstrations were not directly linked to the OWS movement.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/11/17/occupy-wall-street-protesters-march-on-brooklyn-bridge-after-clashes/

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