The President Obama at White House Correspondents Dinner

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Christy Wilcox Reporting Live @ the Unite Against the War on Women 4.28.12 Los Angeles, CA

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Rabbi Levin: Cardinal Dolan/ USCCB Confront Homosexualist Romney

Rabbi Levin demonstrates how you don’t have to be a right wing Christo-Fascist or Taliban Muslim to be totally bug fuck insane.

If sincere humanistic followers of any of these religions don’t start reining in their crazies I fear for all humanity.

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What’s in a name?

From Xtra Canada:

NEWS / Trans students want their chosen names used on post-secondary documents

Jacques Gallant
Friday, April 27, 2012

Ben Boudreau would simply like to have his professors call him by his name, but this is proving to be far more difficult than he envisioned.
Boudreau is a transgender student at Montreal’s Concordia University. He’s been fighting with the registrar’s office and ombudsperson there to have his preferred name used on official university documents.
For now, the legal name he is trying hard to distance himself from still appears on his transcript and on attendance sheets distributed to his professors.
The second-year sciences student was recently offered a compromise by the university. He was told his legal name would have to remain on official documents, but the registrar would contact Boudreau’s professors to explain his situation, so they would not call out his legal name in class. They also told him they would print the letter “B” next to his legal name on his student ID card.

“The thing with the card was useless, because my legal name is still on it, and as for the registrar, I’m not sure if they ever followed up with all of my professors, because there are still slip-ups in class,” Boudreau says, noting that it takes time for a legal name change to be processed. This is why he is trying to get Concordia to modify its policy on preferred names.

Services Quebec’s website indicates it can take up to four months to study an application to change a resident’s legal name. It takes even longer for trans individuals wishing to have their genders legally modified.
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After decades of pressure, ENDA continues to languish — What gives?

From LGBTQ Nation:

Matt Baume
April 25, 2012

The first GetEQUAL action that I ever witnessed was in September of 2010, when a group of about two dozen protestors stood on a street corner in the Castro, waiting for the light to change, and then marched out into the middle of the intersection to unfurl a giant traffic-blocking banner:

“When jobs are lost, the market stops,” it read, a little wordplay since the street they were blocking was Market Street.

I’m lucky to have always worked in LGBT-friendly bubbles.

At a creative company in San Francisco, there’s little risk to being out in the workplace. But I know that not everyone can be so fortunate. As easily as I settled in California, I could have wound up in one of the 29 states where I can lose my job because of who I love — or one of the 34 states where my trans friends can be fired over a pronoun.

I firmly believe that marriage is an important cause for the LGBT community, and I’ve dedicated the last few years of my life to the fight for marriage equality.

But sometimes I’m surprised that employment protection doesn’t get more attention. Is it because marriage is a more fun topic than work is? Maybe. But like those GetEQUAL activists pointed out, we all depend on jobs. Why aren’t we more up in arms about ENDA?

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The Nightwatchman Speaks #16

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LGBT Baby Boomers Need Grassroots Support for Social Security Equality Bill


by Karen Ocamb
April 28, 2012

Let’s face it: much of the LGBT movement has one massive Peter Pan complex. We won’t grow up. We don’t want to go to school just to learn to be a parrot and recite a silly rule. Nope, not us. We’re here, we’re queer and everyone just has to get used to it!

But while the minds, hearts and spirits of LGBT movement founders and Stonewall activists still stir with the fight for real freedom, the body is aging – whether we like it or not. And with aging comes limitations, dependency, and the fear of being forced back into the closet just to get proper and safe treatment. For couples who have shared lives and expenses together, losing a husband or wife could also mean losing financial freedom while trying to survive a broken heart. Suddenly being a second class citizen in the United States of America hits home: we are the cause we’ve been fighting for.

Two years ago, on April 11, 2010, Lorri Jean, CEO of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center officially launched the Rock for Equality campaign in conjunction with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Aids Community Action Foundation.  The campaign noted that LGBT workers pay into the Social Security system but are denied benefits when a partner dies, including retirement benefits, disability insurance, survivor benefits and burial expenses.  Two years ago they estimated that since 2000, those benefits totaled more than $2 billion, depriving LGBT older taxpayers of more than $120 million in Social Security benefits every year.  According to the calculating “Denied” clock on their website, as of 5:03pm Pacific time today, the total was $2,434,079 and counting.

Jean got the idea for the campaign after hearing about Alice Herman, a senior lesbian who not only lost her legally married wife Sylvia, but the other half of her duel-income – forcing her to leave her home and live in her car.  She explained the urgency:

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Spain to persist in ‘suicidal’ austerity policies despite 25% unemployment rate

From Raw Story:

By Muriel Kane
Friday, April 27, 2012

Figures released by the Spanish government on Friday show that country with an unemployment rate of 24.4%, the highest in Europe, and a rate of over 50% among 16-24 year olds.

But despite the bad economic news, that country’s leadership appears determined to stick with the austerity program it has pursued for the last two years and has even recently announcing an increase in consumer taxes for next year.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy passed a plan in February to make it cheaper for employers to let workers go while raising taxes and cutting spending including health care and education.”

As explained by The New York Times, the Spanish government’s hope has been that even if growth and jobs suffer from draconian budget cuts, the lower interest rates that result will keep bond investors happy. But instead, foreign capital has been fleeing the country.

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European, US Austerity Drive is Suicidal: Nobel Economist Stiglitz

From Common Dreams:

‘The Occupy movement has been very successful in bringing those ideas to the forefront of political discussion.’

- Common Dreams staff
Published on Friday, April 27, 2012 by Common Dreams

Europe is headed down the same path that most Republicans — and many Democrats — are suggesting for the US: reductions in the public sector, cuts in benefits, slashing investments in infrastructure and education.

Nobel Prize-winning U.S. economist Joseph Stiglitz speaking in Vienna, Austria Thursday night said that it’s a suicidal path for Europe — and that such a policy has never worked in any large country.

Youth unemployment in Spain has been at 50 percent since the crisis in 2008 with “no hope of things getting better anytime soon,” said Stiglitz, who is a professor for economics at Columbia University. “What you are doing is destroying the human capital, you are creating alienated young people.”

In an interview earlier this week in The European, Stiglitz said, “When you look at America, you have to concede that we have failed. Most Americans today are worse off than they were fifteen years ago. A full-time worker in the US is worse off today than he or she was 44 years ago. That is astounding – half a century of stagnation. The economic system is not delivering. It does not matter whether a few people at the top benefitted tremendously – when the majority of citizens are not better off, the economic system is not working.”

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#WF24 Blocking the Shareholders 24 April 2012 #OccupySF

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May Day’s Radical History: What Occupy Is Fighting for This May 1st

From Alternet:

Occupy actions planned on May Day are tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labor movement.

By Jacob Remes
April 27, 2012

American general strikes—or rather, American calls for general strikes, like the one Occupy Los Angeles issued last December that has been endorsed by over 150 general assemblies—are tinged with nostalgia.

The last real general strike in this country, which is to say, the last general strike that shut down a city, was in Oakland, California in 1946—though journalist John Nichols has suggested that what we saw in Madison, Wisconsin last year was a sort of general strike. When we call a general strike, or talk of one, we refer not to a current mode of organizing; we refer back, implicitly or explicitly, to some of the most militant moments in American working-class history. People posting on the Occupy strike blog How I Strike have suggested that next week’s May Day is highly symbolic. As we think about and develop new ways of “general striking,” we also reconnect with a past we’ve mostly forgotten.

So it makes sense that this year’s call for an Occupy general strike—whatever ends up happening on Tuesday—falls on May 1. May Day is a beautifully American holiday, one created by American workers, crushed by the American government, incubated abroad, and returned to the United States by immigrant workers.

The history of May 1 as a workers’ holiday is intimately tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labor movement, and to the long tradition of American anarchism.

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Study Indicates a Greater Threat of Extreme Weather

From The New York Times:

Published: April 26, 2012

New research suggests that global warming is causing the cycle of evaporation and rainfall over the oceans to intensify more than scientists had expected, an ominous finding that may indicate a higher potential for extreme weather in coming decades.

By measuring changes in salinity on the ocean’s surface, the researchers inferred that the water cycle had accelerated by about 4 percent over the last half century. That does not sound particularly large, but it is twice the figure generated from computerized analyses of the climate.

If the estimate holds up, it implies that the water cycle could quicken by as much as 20 percent later in this century as the planet warms, potentially leading to more droughts and floods.

“This provides another piece of independent evidence that we need to start taking the problem of global warming seriously,” said Paul J. Durack, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the lead author of a paper being published Friday in the journal Science.

The researchers’ analysis found that over the half century that began in 1950, salty areas of the ocean became saltier, while fresh areas became fresher. That change was attributed to stronger patterns of evaporation and precipitation over the ocean.

The new paper is not the first to find an intensification of the water cycle, nor even the first to calculate that it might be fairly large. But the paper appears to marshal more scientific evidence than any paper to date in support of a high estimate.

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1T Day – Burning Student Loan Debt at Union Square, NYC, #OWS

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Edward Avery, Former Priest, Made 10-Year-Old Boy Do Striptease, Witness Says

From Huffington Post:


A witness testified that a former priest of the Philadelphia Archdiocese made him engage in various sexual acts when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.

The New Civil Rights Movement points to a Reuters report on a now 23-year-old witness who said Edward Avery forced him to perform a striptease.

“I was swaying back and forth and took off my clothes,” the witness said, according to Reuters.

The testimony came during the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary of the clergy, who is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy. The prosecution claims Lynn tried to cover up abuse accusations made against priests, some of whom were simply transferred to other parishes, Reuters reports.

The witness also said Avery told him that “God loves me, this is what God wants, and it was time for me to become a man,” according to CNN.

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Don’t Look Now, Lefties are Winning

From Rolling Stone:

By Tim Dickinson
April 19, 2012

Quick. What’s the most important political trend of the past few months?

Bet you didn’t say the resurgence of the Internet-empowered left.

The dogfight between Romney and Santorum got all the media oxygen, followed more recently by endless nonsense about whether Obama (who once ate dog meat) or Romney (who strapped his dog to the car-roof on a family trip) was the worse offender in the “war on dogs.”

But step back and consider this impressive string of victories by progressives:

1) No SOPA for You!

The horrible “anti-piracy” bill that Republicans and corporate-friendly Democrats thought was a slam dunk was blocked at the rim by an ad hoc coalition of Big Tech and progressive-minded Internet users everywhere, nauseated by a law that would make everyday Internet activities illegal and punish illicit downloading with the kind of prison sentences usually reserved for manslaughter. The mass rebellion forced congress to turn tail and run.

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