From RH Reality Check: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/01/08/bring-me-flaming-head-barbie
A few weeks ago I was witnessing internet wide that one thing is certain. Just about everyone has a strong reaction to the news that Michelle Duggar is enceinte again. Of course I snicked like the sarcastic wise-cracking gal I am and some of us tossed around those hoary old chestnuts we always say when discussing Duggar child bearing. “It’s a vagina not a clown car” and “Looks like Jim Bob tossed the hotdog down the well again”
In most of the online discussion of how dangerous her playing maternal Russian roulette actually is no one seemed to hit upon my first thought, how quickly would Jim Bob replace her with a newer, younger, prettier model.
I mean, really, it’s like shooting dice, eventually snake eyes is going to come up. Bad things happen if you keep repeating the same risky behavior. Look at the last of her pregnancies. Something did go wrong. It’s just simple statistics that sometimes things go haywire and we can’t do much about them. But why put yourself in those types of risky situations in the first place?
Back when I was with my old church I got to see this numerous times. Lady either gets pregnant that probably shouldn’t be or would contract a very serious illness. They’d start praying, asking for prayer but refusing medical monitoring or intervention by the medical world at all. They say the same things Michelle Duggar does about this is God’s will and God would either deliver her safely or He would heal her.
One of the saddest cases of this was a lady named Christina who contracted breast cancer and refused all medical treatments, saying only God alone would heal her. She wasn’t going to have any surgery, no chemo, no radiation, she would simply rely on God.
Continue reading at: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/01/08/bring-me-flaming-head-barbie
From World Socialist Web Site: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/oury-j11.shtml
By Martin Kreickenbaum
11 January 2012
Police intervened violently last Saturday to break up a demonstration in the east German city of Dessau. More than 200 people had gathered to commemorate Oury Jalloh, an asylum seeker from Sierra Leone who burned to death in a Dessau police cell seven years ago. Thirty demonstrators were injured, some seriously, including Mouctar Bah, the founder of the “Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh,” who had officially organised the protest march. The protesters were demanding an explanation of the circumstances of Oury’s death.
Large numbers of police in full riot gear surrounded the 240 protesters at the start of their protest march. The police objected to a poster with the slogan “Oury Jalloh—it was murder” and sought to confiscate banners and poster for alleged “defamation”. A woman who painted the slogan on the asphalt with chalk was beaten.
Afterwards, the police repeatedly tried to stop the demonstration, but the demonstrators refused to respond to the provocations of the police and continued their peaceful protest march to the Dessau police station.
After the demonstration, protesters proceeded to the city’s main train station, where they met a police cordon. The police then threatened and attacked the long-time African activists of the Oury Jalloh Initiative. The police beat Mouctar Bah unconscious, severely injured two other board members of the Initiative with blows to the head, and sprayed pepper spray directly into the eyes of other protesters.
Several people were taken into custody, and the police have initiated 23 investigations relating to breach of the peace, assault, libel, and resisting law enforcement officers. In fact, it was the police who reacted with extreme violence against a peaceful demonstration.
Continue reading at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/oury-j11.shtml
The GOP’s leading candidates are becoming more sexually conservative as the rest of America heads in the opposite direction.
By Tracy Clark-Flory
January 10, 2012
So far, the Republican primaries have been a decidedly unsexy affair. Candidates have passionately spouted rhetoric against premarital sex, gay sex — even non-procreative sex within marriage. It’s enough to make you wonder if the country has gone to the prudes.
Rick Santorum, who has compared gay sex to bestiality, outdid himself in an interview that resurfaced last week in which he suggested that states should have a right to outlaw birth control since contraceptives are “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” The other Rick, former Texas Gov. Perry, has been an outspoken opponent of gays in the military and the “sin” of homosexuality. Recent dropout Michele Bachmann seemed a messenger from a previous era, what with her belief that homosexuality is “personal enslavement” and her pledge to ban pornography.
Anti-sex rhetoric is hardly new to the Republican Party, of course, which has routinely campaigned to increase the dangers and consequences of sex by restricting access to contraceptives and abortion. But the GOP war on sex also comes at a time when the party’s presidential candidates have perhaps never been more out of step with the sexual beliefs and practices of most Americans.
“The private sexual behavior of all ages, of all political persuasions is getting more liberal,” says Marty Klein, a sex therapist and author of “America’s War on Sex.” “It’s going toward more variety, more partners, more kinky sex, more experimentation and, as the age of first marriage goes up, by definition the amount of premarital sex is going up.” Indeed, “the vast majority of Americans have sex before marriage,” according to a Guttmacher study, and most believe that out-of-wedlock nookie is morally a-OK.
Monica Gallagher Sakala
Mid-way through last year, my daughter’s pirate obsession was born. She’d always shown a proclivity towards what I would call “boy toys,” beginning with her affinity for climbing fences before her first birthday and her inclination towards playing strictly with balls. So when her obsession with all things pirate emerged, randomly, one warm summer day when she was just two, I wasn’t the least bit surprised.
Frankly, the unexpected fascination with certain toys or dress-up clothes that preschoolers display is part of their charm. Who doesn’t chuckle at the sight of a little girl wearing a Tinkerbell dress mixed with a pirate sword and a cat mask strolling through Trader Joes? But as my daughter’s love for toys traditionally associated with little boys has evolved into a passion for Spiderman, dinosaurs and robots, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend towards reverse sexism placed on kids as young as 2 and 3 years old.
Everyone applauds my daughter’s tom-boyishness. It’s charming that she chose to be a skeleton for Halloween instead of a princess. She is strong, independent, different, other parents remark. In reality, what they are doing is praising the qualities about her that we associate with men. On the other end of the spectrum are the examples of boys her same age who like to play with Barbies, dolls or ride a pink bicycle down the street.
Instead of applauding a boy’s affinity towards learning to nurture and take-care-of, unfortunately, so many fret that he is too “girlie” or worse, will he be… gay? What is happening is this: a young boy’s affinity towards toys and items associated with girls is considered weak, too sensitive, and too feminine. While a girl’s affinity towards traditionally male toys demonstrates her strength and is praise worthy.
By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Post-menopausal women who take medication to lower their cholesterol face a higher risk of getting diabetes than women who do not take the popular drugs, known as statins, said a US study on Monday.
The risk was apparent even after researchers adjusted for variables such as age, race/ethnicity and body mass index, said the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The link appeared regardless of what type of statin, or what dosage, the women were taking, said the study which included 153,000 women with an average age of 63.
By Tom Philpott
Tue Jan. 10, 2012
For the German chemical giant Bayer, neonicotinoid pesticides—synthetic derivatives of nicotine that attack insects’ nervous systems—are big business. In 2010, the company reeled in $789 million euros (more than $1 billion) in revenue from its flagship neonic products imidacloprid and clothianidin. The company’s latest quarterly report shows that its “seed treatment” segment—the one that includes neonics—is booming. In the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2011, sales for the company’s seed treatments jumped 28 percent compared to the same period the previous year.
Such results no doubt bring cheer to Bayer’s shareholders. But for honey bees—whose population has come under severe pressure from a mysterious condition called colony collapse disorder—the news is decidedly less welcome. A year ago on Grist, I told the story of how this class of pesticides had gained approval from the EPA in a twisted process based on deeply flawed (by the EPA’s own account) Bayer-funded science. A little later, I reported that research by the USDA’s top bee scientist, Jeff Pettis, suggests that even tiny exposure to neonics can seriously harm honey bees.
Now a study from Purdue researchers casts further suspicion on Bayer’s money-minting concoctions. To understand the new paper—published in the peer-reviewed journal Plos One—it’s important to know how seed treatments work, which is like this: The pesticides are applied directly to seeds before planting, and then get absorbed by the plant’s vascular system. They are “expressed” in the pollen and nectar, where they attack the nervous systems of insects. Bayer targeted its treatments at the most prolific US crop—corn—and since 2003, corn farmers have been blanketing millions of acres of farmland with neonic-treated seeds.
From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/10/wales-replace-french-breast-implants
The Welsh government says it will pay to replace French-made PIP breast implants for women who were treated privately.
Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths said not replacing the implants could endanger women’s health, given some have already ruptured.
The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, will rule out following suit in England when he updates MPs on the scandal today.
The Commons health select committee is to inquire into the cosmetic treatments industry.
Complete article at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/10/wales-replace-french-breast-implants
by: Mike Lofgren
Tuesday 10 January 2012
It was in 1993 during Congressional deliberation over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican members of Congress who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. I distinctly remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris and Tokyo than with their own fellow American citizens.”
That was just the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.
At the end of the cold war, many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation state. Some looked at the demise of the Soviet Union and foresaw the territorial state breaking up into statelets of different ethnic, religious or economic compositions. This happened in the Balkans, former Czechoslovakia and Sudan. Others, like Chuck Spinney, predicted a weakening of the state due to the rise of fourth-generation warfare and the inability of national armies to adapt to it. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan lend credence to that theory. There have been hundreds of books about globalization and how it would break down borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.
I do not mean secession in terms of physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens occasionally.(i) It means a withdrawal into enclaves, a sort of internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well-being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension – and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call, who cares about Medicare?
Continue reading at: http://truth-out.org/have-super-rich-seceded-united-states/1326127151
From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oscar-raymundo/gay-bookstores_b_1188197.html
Not many places in the world can be considered gay landmarks, but certainly LGBT bookstores have played a big part in cultivating our history, serving as resource centers for queer and questioning youth and fostering relationships in gayborhoods beyond one-night stands and drunken blackouts.
Unfortunately, when it comes to making ends meet, these independent bookstores are barely hanging on by a thread.
Earlier this week Queerty wrote about Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto going up for sale. Currently the oldest gay bookstore in the world, Glad Day has been a beacon of freedom of expression for over 31 years. In 2003 the bookshop won a federal lawsuit defending their right to sell movies, adult or otherwise, without the approval of the Ontario Film Review Board. (You can help save Glad Day by shopping online.)
But despite these strides, LGBT bookstores worldwide continue to struggle against online retailers. Ironically it was the biggest online retailer of them all, Amazon.com, that once classified gay and lesbian titles as “adult” material. Books with LGBT content, including Brokeback Mountain and an Ellen DeGeneres biography, were stripped of their rankings in what was later corrected as a “technical glitch.”
That all happened in 2009, the same year New York’s Oscar Wilde Bookshop, D.C.’s Lambda Rising, and West Hollywood’s A Different Light announced they were going under.
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oscar-raymundo/gay-bookstores_b_1188197.html
Naomi Klein: One of the things that’s most mysterious about this moment is “Why now?” People have been fighting austerity measures and calling out abuses by the banks for a couple of years, with basically the same analysis: “We won’t pay for your crisis.” But it just didn’t seem to take off, at least in the US. There were marches and there were political projects and there were protests like Bloombergville, but they were largely ignored. There really was not anything on a mass scale, nothing that really struck a nerve. And now suddenly, this group of people in a park set off something extraordinary. So how do you account for that, having been involved in Occupy Wall Street since the beginning, but also in earlier anti-austerity actions?
Yotam Marom: Okay, so the first answer is, I have no idea, no one does. But I can offer some guesses. I think there are a few things you have to pay attention to when you see moments like these. One is conditions—unemployment, debt, foreclosure, the many other issues people are facing. Conditions are real, they’re bad, and you can’t fake them. Another sort of base for this kind of thing is the organizing people do to prepare for moments like these. We like to fantasize about these uprisings and big political moments—and we like to imagine that they erupt out of nowhere and that that’s all it takes—but those things come on the back of an enormous amount of organizing that happens every day, all over the world, in communities that are really marginalized and facing the worst attacks.