It’s OK to tell your abortion story. Some women just don’t want to be pregnant

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/20/abortion-story-women-dont-want-be-pregnant

You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your abortion. But with so many women being shamed, shouldn’t we speak out?

Thursday 20 November 2014

I know a woman in her 30s: she’s married, she has a toddler, and she desperately wants a second child – but a dangerous medical condition means that having another baby would be life-threatening. Despite being careful, she got pregnant. She had an abortion because she wasn’t willing to risk her life and leave her child motherless, but she still feels a deep sadness.

I know another woman, in her 20s, who had a shitty boyfriend (but no kids) when her birth control failed and she found herself with a pregnancy she knew she didn’t want – a pregnancy she wasn’t ready for. She was upset about the situation, but had no doubts about what she wanted to do and, after the abortion, no regrets. She rarely thinks about the pregnancy or the abortion anymore.

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably have much more sympathy for the first woman than the second. Though the majority of people in America and Northern Ireland and so many other places believe abortion should be legal, too many of us still think about reproductive rights as if there’s a hierarchy of good and bad abortions – the kind that women “deserve”, and the kind women should be ashamed of.

But those two women? They’re both me.

On Thursday, the 1 in 3 Campaign (a hat tip to the fact that 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion) launched a live-streamed, national abortion speak-out featuring people like Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, comedian Lizz Winstead and artist Favianna Rodriguez – and me.

I’ve written about ending my wanted pregnancy and the turmoil I faced with the decision, but I’ve never before spoken publicly about my first abortion – not because I was ashamed, but because it truly didn’t have that tremendous of an impact on my life. If anything, being able to have that abortion made my life better: I was able to publish my first book, meet my now-husband, cultivate the life that I’m living and build the family that I love.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/20/abortion-story-women-dont-want-be-pregnant

Why College Is Necessary But Gets You Nowhere

From Robert Reich:  http://robertreich.org/post/103472733520

Robert Reich
Monday, November 24, 2014

This is the time of year when high school seniors apply to college, and when I get lots of mail about whether college is worth the cost.

The answer is unequivocally yes, but with one big qualification. I’ll come to the qualification in a moment but first the financial case for why it’s worth going to college.

Put simply, people with college degrees continue to earn far more than people without them. And that college “premium” keeps rising.

Last year, Americans with four-year college degrees earned on average 98 percent more per hour than people without college degrees.

In the early 1980s, graduates earned 64 percent more.

So even though college costs are rising, the financial return to a college degree compared to not having one is rising even faster.

But here’s the qualification, and it’s a big one.

A college degree no longer guarantees a good job. The main reason it pays better than the job of someone without a degree is the latter’s wages are dropping.

In fact, it’s likely that new college graduates will spend some years in jobs for which they’re overqualified.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 46 percent of recent college graduates are now working in jobs that don’t require college degrees. (The same is true for more than a third of college graduates overall.)

Their employers still choose college grads over non-college grads on the assumption that more education is better than less.

As a result, non-grads are being pushed into ever more menial work, if they can get work at all. Which is a major reason why their pay is dropping.

What’s going on? For years we’ve been told globalization and technological advances increase the demand for well-educated workers. (Confession: I was one of the ones making this argument.)

This was correct until around 2000. But since then two things have reversed the trend.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/103472733520

Friday Night Fun and Culture: Bill Monroe

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart ~ Lewis Black – Back in Black (November 19th 2014)

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Those We’ve Lost in 2014

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/11/20/transgender-day-remembrance-those-weve-lost-2014

Today we pause to remember the beautiful lives needlessly lost to antitrans violence this year.

BY Mitch Kellaway
November 20 2014

Nearly every two weeks day, a person is killed somewhere in the world for expressing gender nonconformity. This sobering statistic does not include the numerous other deaths that never receive media attention or are not reported to police, making the full scope of lives lost to senseless antitrans prejudice truly innumerable.

As the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance approaches each November 20, the list of the dead who vigilgoers will memorialize steadily grows, filled especially with the names of trans women of color. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the first TDOR, held in Allston, Mass., to memorialize Rita Hester, a trans woman of color whose life was cut tragically short in 1999.

Over the years, the now-international project has catalogued the loss of hundreds of trans and gender-nonconforming people — individuals who, within their often short lifetimes, were beloved family members, friends, and members of their communities — who faced attackers wielding slurs, weapons, and fists. Some were killed by intimate partners, some by strangers, while still others were children slain by parents who were intolerant of their gender variance.

And while transgender people, along with friends, loved ones, family, and allies, somberly remember those killed because of antitrans violence today, we also remember that there are still countless instances of transphobic acts occurring each year that do not end in death — many of which are never reported to media or authorities. Likewise, murders not covered by the media tend to become more difficult to communally memorialize on this day.

While The Advocate‘s memorial coverage to mark this year’s TDOR focuses on women whose deaths were covered in the English-speaking press, we also honor countless other precious lives marred by violence and the multitude of others whose passing goes unspoken.

So, once again, we ask that you draw your attention to those whose deaths we mourn, not simply to cause sadness, but to raise awareness of the need for a world in which such constant mourning is never requisite again.

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/11/20/transgender-day-remembrance-those-weve-lost-2014

Tommy Chong defends Obamacare on Fox News

Bernie Sanders: US may be at ‘tipping point’ where only ‘the billionaire class’ picks presidents

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/bernie-sanders-us-may-be-at-tipping-point-where-only-the-billionaire-class-picks-presidents/


17 Nov 2014

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders warned on Monday that the United States may have reached a “tipping point” where the “billionaire class” could block any presidential candidates who were fighting for the working class.

Sanders explained during an interview on CNN that he had been traveling the country to determine if he would have the necessary support for a presidential run in 2016.

“I’m giving some thought to it,” he said. “Taking on the billionaire class, and Wall Street, and the Koch brothers is not an easy task.”

“How are you going to get elected president if you take on the billionaire class?” CNN host Chris Cuomo snarked. “Don’t you watch the elections?”

“I’m going to be very honest with you,” Sanders replied. “We may have reached the tipping point where candidates who are fighting for the working class and the middle class of this country may not be able do it anymore because of the power of the billionaire class.”

“That’s the simple reality,” he continued. “And I have got to ascertain — if I do it, I want to do it well. If I do it, I know that I will need millions of people engaged in a real grassroots campaign to take on big money, and to fight for an agenda, a jobs program, raising the minimum wage, pay equity for women, dealing with climate change, all of these things.”

“And I have to ascertain what kind of support there is out there.”

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