Lady Gaga Addresses Rally in Support of the Repeal of DADT Portland Maine 9-20-2010

Posted to You Tube by Michael Moore

Damn I knew there was a reason why I fell in love with Lady Gaga.  I just hope Senators Collins and Snow show a little bit of  respect for equality rather than for the  nasty un-American values their party has come to reflect.

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A Commune Grows in Brooklyn

DIY self-reliance hippie style.

From The New York Times:

Published: September 17, 2010

ON a recent drizzly afternoon in Bushwick, Brooklyn, members of the Bushwick Food Cooperative gathered beneath a tent in a ramshackle backyard to claim their share of the weekly harvest. They picked through crates of cilantro and rosemary from a rooftop farm in Long Island City, Queens, and examined pastured eggs from an Amish farm cooperative in Pennsylvania.

Benn Rasmussen, a 29-year-old dancer who lives with nine people in a sprawling loft nearby, was signing people in. Shira Shaham, 30, a member of the collectively run bike shop Band of Bicycles, was keeping track of the price list. Then Ariel de Leon, who is affiliated with the Food Not Bombs anarchist movement, arrived with an extra blue Ikea bag for Ms. Shaham to carry her produce in.

“My friend makes women’s swimsuits out of those,” someone said.

“I use them to plant tomatoes in,” Ms. de Leon replied.

It was a fairly typical scene in Bushwick these days. In fact, such scenes are not atypical across the greater metropolitan area, where a kind of renaissance in collectives is under way. Concepts like sharing and bartering — whether it’s fabric at Etsy Labs in Dumbo or powerboats at SailTime on the Chelsea Piers — are being revived and updated for the Twitter age.

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Marijuana Growers Join the Teamsters Union

You know… What with the crashing capitalist economy and potential legalization of pot in California it might be time to bring some 1960s ideas of how to live to the forefront again.

Over the weekend I read and article in the New York Times titled “A Commune Grows in Brooklyn“.  Conservatives have totally fucked up the world since the elections of Reagan and Thatcher. Maybe if there was a mandated level playing field for smaller businesses selling more personal and relevant items instead of expensive plastic status symbols and manufactured food we might get back to having communities again.

Like it or not we are at peak oil, couple that with climate change and the need for a shrinking or at least stable population and economy should be obvious.

Maybe we fell down on the execution but I still think many ideas that grew out of the hippie movement and that became alternative culture hold promise not for corporate profits but rather for people to live gentler and happier lives.

From Alternet:

Posted by Jan Frel on @ 10:45 am

A pot growers’ union emerges (from the AP):

The Teamsters added nearly 40 new members earlier this month by organizing the country’s first group of unionized marijuana growers. Such an arrangement is likely only possible in California, which has the nation’s loosest medical marijuana laws. … The new members work as gardeners, trimmers and cloners for Marjyn Investments LLC, an Oakland business that contracts with medical marijuana patients to grow their pot for them.

Their newly negotiated two-year contract provides them with a pension, paid vacation and health insurance. Their current wages of $18 per hour will increase to $25.75 an hour within 15 months, according to the union. …

[Labor liaison Lou] Marchetti said the union would not have gotten involved with the growers if it didn’t believe the business was legitimate under state law. “The Teamsters would never organize an illegal business,” Marchetti said.

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Lady Gaga leading rally against military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Lady Gaga amazes me.  People treat her like an empty headed fluff yet there she is committing herself to equality for LGBT?T folks.  And yes I love her as a performer who is both musically and artistically talented.
Posted: September 19th, 2010 12:57 AM ET


Pop singer Lady Gaga is headed to Main Monday.

Washington (CNN) – Pop star Lady Gaga will headline a rally in Portland, Maine, Monday calling on the state’s two Republican senators to vote yes on taking up a defense bill that includes authorization to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gay and lesbian servicemembers.

A crucial Senate vote is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, and supporters of the repeal say that as of now, they do not have the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster blocking the bill. Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are publicly undecided, and could each potentially provide Democrats the votes they need to bring the issue before the Senate.

Lady Gaga’s rally is being organized by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a gay rights group mobilizing grassroots support to repeal the controversial policy. The organization also helped the singer set up a lengthy YouTube video posted Friday urging her fans to call their senators and ask them to support Tuesday’s procedural vote.

The singer sent word of the planned rally via twitter Sunday night.

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Updated: Homicide on Jacoby Street

Yet another sister murdered…

From The Maplewood Patch:

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and Maplewood Police are investigating.

By Mary Mann

Updated: September 17, 2010.

On Sunday morning, September 11, 2010, Victoria Carmen White, 28, of Newark was fatally shot at a relative’s apartment at 159 Jacoby Street in Maplewood.

White was originally identified by police as James White, 29. On Monday, September 12, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office released a statement reporting that the victim’s legal name is Victoria Carmen White. Following an examination by the Medical Examiner and further investigation, it was confirmed that the victim was a post-operative transgender female having undergone sex reassignment surgery. The victim’s birth certificate was legally changed to identify her as Victoria Carmen White.

When asked why and how the victim was originally mis-identified, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office responded that this issue is related to the ongoing investigation and could not be answered at this time.

Maplewood Police and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office say they are investigating the death as a homicide.

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Ghostwriters in the sky

For all the pseudo-scientific psychiatric, sociological and psychological follow-up studies done by agenda driven anti-SRS doctors or by people doing push surveys that require us to identify as transgender there have been damned few studies regarding the medical impact of long term hormone usage upon us.

We tend to operate on a basis of almost folk lore and accepted wisdom that we require massive amounts of hormones.  But what about someone in their 60s who has been on hormones for 40 years and is nearly that long post-SRS?  Women of that age are post-menopause.  We haven’t had testes for many, many years.  Maybe we don’t need the same high level of hormones we needed when we were younger?  Maybe we should go to a lower level?

Maybe we should be demanding some long term studies?  And not ghost written self serving drug ads from drug manufacturing corporations.

From Bad Science:

September 18th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science
Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 18 September 2010

If I tell you that Katie Price did not, necessarily, write her own book, this is not a revelation. From academics I have slightly higher expectations, but now the legal system has spat out another skip full of documents: this time, we get a new insight into the strange phenomenon of medical ghost-writing.

Attributed authorial assistance is one thing. This is different, and more cynical. A commercial medical writing company is employed by a drug company to produce a programme of academic papers that can be rolled out in academic journals to build a brand message. After copywriters produce the articles, in collaboration with the drug company, to their specifications, the ghostwriting company finds some academics who are willing to put their names to them, perhaps after a few modest changes.

The latest documents come from a court case brought against Wyeth by around 14,000 patients who developed breast cancer while taking their hormone replacement therapy, Prempro. The open access journal PLoS Medicine, acting with the New York Times, argued successfully in court that 1500 documents from the case which detailed the ghostwriting should be placed in the public domain, because they represent important information on a potential threat to public health. Now, PLoS has published the first academic analysis of these documents, which is free to access online.

HRT, we should remember, has had a rocky history. Initially the panacea to all ills, by 1998 the HERS trial showed it didn’t prevent cardiovascular events after all, and by 2002 the Womens Health Initiative trial showed it also increased the risk of breast cancer and stroke. We now know it increases the risk of dementia and incontinence. Survey data shows that even today, many gynaecologists continue to have beliefs about the efficacy of HRT that are in excess of the evidence. Reading how the literature was engineered, it’s not hard to see why.

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For the Unemployed Over 50, Fears of Never Working Again

From The New York Times:


VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — Patricia Reid is not in her 70s, an age when many Americans continue to work. She is not even in her 60s. She is just 57.

But four years after losing her job she cannot, in her darkest moments, escape a nagging thought: she may never work again.

College educated, with a degree in business administration, she is experienced, having worked for two decades as an internal auditor and analyst at Boeing before losing that job.

But that does not seem to matter, not for her and not for a growing number of people in their 50s and 60s who desperately want or need to work to pay for retirement and who are starting to worry that they may be discarded from the work force — forever.

Since the economic collapse, there are not enough jobs being created for the population as a whole, much less for those in the twilight of their careers.

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