Transgender woman murdered in Philadelphia

Justin Ward – GLAAD’s Media Field Strategist
October 14th, 2010

As confirmed today by the Philadelphia Daily News, autopsy results indicate that a transgender woman’s death in Philadelphia has been ruled a homicide.

The body of a 31-year-old transgender woman named  Stacey Blahnik Lee was discovered Monday night by her boyfriend in the home the two shared in Point Breeze, a neighborhood in South Philadelphia.

Initial reports indicated that Stacey was found with a pillowcase around her neck.  Homicide Sgt. Bob Wilkins refuted this yesterday. Instead, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office says that Stacey was strangled to death.

Autopsy reports also indicated that a weapon, nor a pillowcase, was used in Stacey’s death.  This finding was in line with Sgt. Wilkins’ comment on Tuesday that there were no visible signs of trauma to the victim, such as stab or bullet wounds.

Though Stacey and her boyfriend were regarded by neighbors as a private couple, phrases such as “really nice” and “very friendly” have all been used to describe Stacey.

GLAAD is in contact with the Philadelphia Daily News about some problematic elements in its coverage of this story, including putting quotes around Stacey’s name.

After speaking with GLAAD the paper did remove quotes around Stacey’s name in part of the story but not the entire piece.

It is never appropriate to put quotation marks around either a transgender person’s chosen name or the pronoun that reflects that person’s gender identity.  After consulting with GLAAD the outlet also made changes to include the word transgender to describe Stacey and we are continuing conversations with editors to bring the paper’s overall reporting on this story in line with fair, accurate and inclusive standards.

As many questions remain surrounding the circumstances of Stacey’s death, GLAAD urges the media to cover this story fairly and accurately, with particular attention to word choices.  As noted recently on our blog, the use of problematic terminology is too often the case in stories involving transgender people, particularly when those stories revolve around violent crime.

GLAAD has produced a Media Reference Guide that is intended to be a resource to media professionals when covering LGBT-related issues.  Specifically, pages 8-11 address issues that often arise in reports about the lives of transgender people.

We will continue to closely monitor the coverage of this story to insure fairness and accuracy.

This post was originally published at GLAAD Blog. For more information about Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), please see GLAAD’s website, or visit GLAAD Facebook and Twitter

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Message from GetEQUAL Youth to President Obama and Congress

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Glaxo Agrees to $750 Million Fine for Sale of Bad Products

From The New York Times:

Published: October 26, 2010

GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant, has agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints that the company for years knowingly sold contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant — the latest in a growing number of whistle-blower lawsuits that drug makers have settled with multimillion dollar fines.

Altogether, GlaxoSmithKline sold 20 drugs with questionable safety that were made at a huge plant in Puerto Rico that for years was rife with contamination. Cheryl Eckard, the company’s quality manager, asserts in her whistle-blower suit that she warned Glaxo of the problems but the company fired her instead of addressing the issues. Among the drugs affected were Avandia, Bactroban, Coreg, Paxil and Tagamet. No patients are known to have been sickened by the quality problems although such cases would be difficult to trace.

Tony West, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, and Carmen M. Ortiz, the United States attorney for Massachusetts, announced the settlement in a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Boston. The outcome provides one of the highest whistleblower award yet in a health care fraud case.

GlaxoSmithKline released a statement saying that it regretted operating the Puerto Rican plant in violation of good manufacturing practices. The company said the problem involved only one plant that was closed in 2009. Its American shares were down 0.37 percent in late afternoon trading in New York.

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Just a Little Musical Interlude to Mellow Out

Why you should say ‘yes’ to Proposition 19

Published By Times Herald:


Why you should say ‘yes’ to Proposition 19

Seventy-eight years ago this November, Californians overwhelmingly voted to repeal a morally, socially, and economically failed public policy — alcohol prohibition. Voters did not wait for the federal government to act; they took matters into their own hands.

On Nov. 2, California voters have an opportunity to repeat history and repeal an equally bankrupt public policy — marijuana prohibition.

California lawmakers criminalized the possession and cultivation of marijuana in 1913, some 24 years before Congress enacted similar prohibitions federally. Yet today some 3.3 million Californians acknowledge using pot regularly, and the Golden State stands alone as the largest domestic producer of the crop. Self-evidently, marijuana is here to stay. The question is: What is the most pragmatic and effective way to deal with this reality?

Proposition 19 — which legalizes the adult possession of limited quantities of marijuana in private, and allows local governments to regulate its commercial production and retail distribution — offers voters a sound alternative to the inflexible and failed strategies of the past. The measure acknowledges that adults should not be legally punished for their private use of a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol or tobacco, while simultaneously enacting common sense controls regarding who can legally consume it, distribute it, and produce it.

Critics of Prop. 19 … express concerns that passage of this initiative will lead to increased marijuana use and send a mixed message to children. Both arguments are specious at best.

Virtually any Californian who wishes to obtain or consume marijuana can already do so, and it is unlikely that adults who presently abstain from pot will cease doing so simply because certain restrictions on its prohibition are lifted. Further, it must be acknowledged that unlike alcohol, marijuana is incapable of causing lethal overdose, is relatively nontoxic to healthy cells and organs, and its use is not typically associated with violent, aggressive, or reckless behavior. Why then are we so worried about adults consuming it in the privacy of their own home?

Critics’ concerns regarding marijuana and youth are also not persuasive. Young people already report that they have easier access to illicit marijuana than they do legal beer or cigarettes. Why? It is because the production and sale of these latter products are regulated and legally limited to a specific age group. As a result teen use of cigarettes, for example, has fallen to its lowest levels in decades while, conversely, young people’s use of cannabis is rising. In short, it’s legalization, regulation, and public education — coupled with the enforcement of age restrictions — that most effectively keep mind-altering substances out of the hands of children.

Further, a regulated system of cannabis legalization will make it easier, not harder, for parents and educators to rationally and persuasively discuss this subject with young people. Many parents who may have tried pot during their youth (or who continue to use it occasionally) will no longer perceive societal pressures to lie to their children about their own behaviors. Rather, just as many parents presently speak to their children openly about their use of alcohol — instructing them that booze may be appropriate for adults in moderation, but that it remains inappropriate for young people — legalization will empower adults to talk objectively and rationally to their kids about marijuana.

The Bottom line? For nearly 100 years in California the criminal prohibition of marijuana has fueled an underground, unregulated, black market economy that empowers criminal entrepreneurs while having no tangible effect on the public’s access to pot or their use of it. A “yes” vote on Prop. 19 is a first step toward allowing lawmakers and regulators to seize control of this illegal commercial market and turn it over to licensed business. A “no” vote continues to abdicate command of this market to criminal gangs and drug traffickers.

The choice is up to us.

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New Figures Detail Depth Of Unemployment Misery, Lower Earnings For All But Super Wealthy

From The Huffington Post:

10-25-10 12:22 PM

One out of every 34 Americans who earned wages in 2008 earned absolutely nothing — not one cent — in 2009.

The stunning figure was released earlier this month by the Social Security Administration, but apparently went unreported until it appeared today on in a column by Pulitzer Prize-winning tax reporter David Cay Johnston.

It’s not just every 34th earner whose financial situation has been upended by the financial crisis. Average wages, median wages, and total wages have all declined — except at the very top, where they leaped dramatically, increasing five-fold.

Johnston writes that while the number of Americans earning more than $50 million fell from 131 in 2008 to 74 in 2009, those that remained at the top increased their income from an average of $91.2 million in 2008 to almost $519 million.

The wealth is astounding, says Johnston. “That’s nearly $10 million in weekly pay!… These 74 people made as much as the 19 million lowest-paid people in America, who constitute one in every eight workers.”

Johnston sees the depressing figures as a result of government tax policies maintained by politicians with an eye on re-election, not good government:

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Murderer found guilty of raping young woman and murdering a transsexual woman

Why does it come as no surprise that those who murder women born transsexual or transgender also rape and often kill assigned female at birth women?

The answer is that misogyny and looking to harm women without getting punished for it is the hallmark of the sub-humans who commit these acts.  Locking them in a cage and never freeing them, not even in the prisons where they continue their career as rapists is the only way to stop them from raping short of putting them down.

The Independent UK:


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A convicted murderer was today found guilty of raping a woman in her 20s five weeks before he strangled a transsexual prostitute.

Neil McMillan, 43, killed Andrea Waddell, 29, in Brighton last October before setting fire to her body.

He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years at Lewes Crown Court in June after being convicted of the crime.

Today McMillan was found guilty of raping a woman in Brighton five weeks before by Old Bailey jurors – who were not told about the murder.

After McMillan’s previous convictions were revealed today, Judge Stephen Kramer told them: “Don’t feel you have been deprived of important information that would have assisted you.

“You tried the case as you heard and saw in court as you were bound to do.”

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This oxygen waster used the standard lie regarding the transsexual woman.  You know the one that should always be considered a confession to first degree murder rather than an extenuating circumstance.

GOP candidate murdered two unarmed Iraqis and ‘shot them 60 times’

I can’t and wouldn’t make this shit up.  But if you don’t get out there and vote to keep these fucks out of office they will be governing us.

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 — 11:37 am

A Tea Party-backed candidate who allegedly murdered two unarmed Iraqis could win a seat in the House of Representatives, The Guardian reports.

Thirty-nine-year-old Ilario Pantano, who is running for North Carolina’s 7th congressional district as a Republican, was charged with the premeditated murder of two Iraqi civilians in 2005 while serving as a second lieutenant with the US Marines.

In April of 2004, Pantano and his platoon stopped and detained two Iraqi men in a car near Falluja. While the majority of his platoon was away, he and two others ordered the detained Iraqis to search their own car for weapons and then allegedly unloaded two full magazines of his M16A4 rifle into them.

Sergeant Daniel Coburn, who was 27 at the time and one of the three soldiers at the incident, recalled wondering “when the lieutenant was going to stop, because it was obvious that they were dead.”

“I believed that by firing the number of rounds that I did, I was sending a message,” Pantano told the New York magazine.

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GOP State Senate candidate calls Hitler ‘strong leader’

From Raw Story:

By Raw Story
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 — 11:45 am

A Republican state Senate candidate in Wisconsin called Adolf Hitler a “strong leader” in a tweet, and the action is garnering criticism from Democrats. Reports AP:

Dane Deutsch of Rice Lake posted a message on his campaign Twitter account in March that read, “Hitler and Lincoln were both strong leaders. Lincoln’s character made him the greater leader whose legacy and leadership still lives on!”

Deutsch says he meant that while both men influenced many people, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had a “righteous character” while Hitler did not.

The State Senate Democratic Committee put out a statement Monday questioning whether Deutsch understood the devastation Hitler and thinks voters really need to discuss it in the election.

Remarked the Minneapolis City Pages:

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Education Dept. ramps up anti-bullying efforts

From The Washington Blade:

Chris Johnson | Oct 26, 2010

The Education Department has issued new guidance to schools and colleges throughout the country in an effort to stave off the bullying of LGBT students.

On Tuesday, Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary of education for civil rights, sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to educators clarifying when student bullying violates federal anti-discrimination laws.

The letter states that while federal statute provides no specific protection against bullying on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBT students are protected on the basis of gender under federal law.

Additionally, Ali states that while federal laws don’t provide explicit protection from bullying on the basis of religion, they do offer protection against the harassment of members of religious groups based on their shared ethnic characteristics.

Federal laws that offer these protections to students include Title IX of the Education Amendmenst of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender.

“School personnel who understand their legal obligations to address harassment under these laws are in the best position to prevent it from occurring and to respond appropriately when it does,” Ali writes.

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Rand Paul’s Nazi Goons Stomp Woman Protester

Little Green Footballs has a series of posts from the Nazis Tea Baggers.  Big tough bullies one and all wishing they could be part of a lynch mob or run the chambers and ovens.

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