ACLU Challenge To So-Called “Defense Of Marriage Act” To Be Announced At Press Conference Tuesday At 11:00 a.m. ET

ACLU Media Release:  Nov 8, ’10 8:49 PM

For every one

November 8, 2010

Robyn Shepherd, ACLU, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666;
Brandy Bergman and Renée Soto, Sard Verbinnen & Co., (212) 687-8080

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, November 9 at 11:00 a.m., the American Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP will host a press conference to announce a lawsuit filed that day challenging the constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). DOMA is a federal statute that defines marriage as a “legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

Press conference announcing lawsuit challenging the “Defense of Marriage Act” and press availability from client Edie Windsor and lawyers on the case.

Edith “Edie” Windsor, Plaintiff
James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Project
Roberta Kaplan, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
11:00 a.m. ET
Media check-in begins at 10:00 a.m. ET
There is no mult/press box: broadcast media need to bring their own mult/press box to access the sound system

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
New York, NY
American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004-2400 United States

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BP, this isn’t over

From Socialist Worker:

Louisiana residents are speaking out about the horrible effects of the chemicals the BP used after its Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

Dahr Jamail

November 8, 2010

BATON ROUGE, La.–Gulf coast fishers, conservationists, seafood distributors and oil workers rallied here at Louisiana’s capital on October 30 to demand that oil giant BP be held accountable for the “ongoing” use of toxic dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We don’t have the open sores and blisters caused by BP’s toxic dispersants that the people in Plaquemine’s Parish have,” Karen Hopkins from Grand Isle, La., told IPS. “We are being poisoned by BP’s same dispersants, but our symptoms are more lethargy and depression symptoms caused by chemical poisoning.”

Hopkins, who works for Dean Blanchard Seafood, a large and well-known seafood distributor, was a member of the October 30 Rally for Gulf Change, whose organizers said they were working toward “preserving our God-given rights to clean air and water for future generations.”

Drew Landry, who describes himself as “a songwriter who works for a commercial craw-fisherman,” said that he first grew concerned about BP’s mishandling of the oil disaster, which began on April 20 when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, by what he saw the oil giant do the following day.

Continue reading at:

I never thought I would say what I am about to say, but Exxon showed far more corporate responsibility regarding the Exxon Valdez oil spill than BP has shown the last few months.

We need to dog BP the way we dogged Exxon and not forget it all now that the well is capped and the story is no longer in the headlines.

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Anti-Choice “C-Streeter” Opposing Pelosi for Minority Leader

From Reproductive Health:

By Jodi Jacobson, Editor-in-Chief, RH Reality Check
November 5, 2010 – 3:15pm

Remember the words, “Stupak Amendment?”  Keep those in mind as you read further.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced that she would place herself in the running to become House minority leader when Congress reconvenes.

Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, was in large part responsible for ensuring the success of virtually every piece of legislation passed during the Obama Administration, including health care reform.  Some bills that succeeded in the House failed in the Senate due to lack of effective action to pass them.  Pelosi did not allow this to happen in the House while she held the gavel in her hand.

While clearly elements of some of these laws leave something to be desired–such as the ban on coverage for abortion care in private insurance policies–Pelosi’s ability to navigate and garner majority votes from an often fractious Democratic majority has won accolades even from opponents.


Pelosi, however, is being challenged by none other than Congressman Heath Shuler, a good ol’ boy conservative southern Blue Dog Democrat. According to the Washington Post:


Shuler is also anti-choice, with an 85 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee.  And he’s proud of it.  I’m not sure whether this is “worse,” but according to Jeff Sharlet, he also is a member of the “C Street crowd.” He of course voted for the Stupak Amendment in the health reform bill, but after it was in there, opposed passage of the final bill.

To read complete post go to:

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Seattle to Recycle Food Waste into Electricity

From The Holistic Future:

November 7, 2010

In the northwestern United States, the city of Seattle requires its residents to separate food waste from the rest of their trash. The food gets recycled into compost for lawns, gardens and, soon, into electricity.

Every day, at Cedar Grove Composting north of Seattle, truck after truck pulls into this huge warehouse to dump loads of food and yard waste.

“There’s a nice mix of green waste and material. We actually have different seasons here in the tipping building,” says Susan Thoman, business development director for Cedar Grove. “There’s pumpkin season, that’s the first of November after Halloween. We have Christmas tree season, which is obviously the first part of January after the holidays.”

According to Thoman, food waste and yard waste are currently all dumped in a pile together. Then they’re mixed with microbes, ground up, and poured in long, covered rows to biodegrade for a month.

The people who work at Cedar Grove talk about compost the way chefs talk about food. Thoman digs her hands into a rich, dark pile of the finished product.


Now Cedar Grove has a new recipe in mind for its food waste. Before turning banana peels and bread crusts into compost, the company wants to use them to create alternative energy.

Food waste would be separated and sprinkled with bacteria to help the food begin to break down. Then it would be poured into a closed container called an anaerobic digester, where the decomposing food would start releasing large amounts of methane.

Instead of letting that methane escape into the atmosphere, where it could contribute to global warming, Cedar Grove would suck it up and store it. Then they could burn it, to power and heat the compost facility.

Full Article at:

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The Rich are Different from You or I (II)

I’m tired of class war being a one sided war.

Class war… Not just for the rich anymore…

From Raw Story:

Wealthy fund manager avoids felony charges after running over cyclist because of… wealth

By David Edwards
Monday, November 8th, 2010 — 12:15 pm

A fund manager for Smith Barney is getting off without felony charges after he allegedly ran over a cyclist with his Mercedes and fled the scene in Eagle, Colorado, because, the DA says, felony charges would be bad for the fund manager’s business.

Martin Joel Erzinger will not be charged with a felony because “Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession,” according to District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

Erzinger oversees over $1 billion in assets for “ultra high net worth individuals, their families and foundations,” according to Worth.

Erzinger fled the scene July 3 after allegedly striking Dr. Steven Milo with his 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan on Highway 6, according to court documents. Erzinger later called the Mercedes auto assistance service to ask for his vehicle to be towed but did not report the accident to law enforcement. He claims he was unaware the cyclist had been hit.

“Mr. Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,” Milo wrote in a letter to the District Attorney. “Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.”

Continue reading at:

Maybe it is time to storm the Winter Palace.

Let’s see the rich steal billions and face social opprobrium, the poor steal face thirty years in prison for association with some one who committed an eleven dollar robbery.

Breaking a window can get a Black Bloc member three years in jail.  A cop murders Oscar Grant in cold blood in front of dozens of people and gets two years.

If I keyed this asshole’s Benz I’d get a year in jail.  He mows down a bicyclist and they don’t want to charge him with hit and run because it might harm his career.

Diderot was right.  Strangle the last royal with the guts of the last priest.

The Rich are Different From You or I

I just love how those who have been given every possible advantage in life have the gall to turn around and complain about affirmative action being so unfair.

Heaven forbid these junior masters of the universe have to compete with someone given a boost to overcome the disadvantages imposed by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or classism.

The following New York Time article makes me want to puke.

Then I remember the words of Lucy Parsons a black woman from Texas, born a slave.  She married a white man, Albert Parson who was framed and murdered for his part in the Hay Market Square  riots.

She was still alive during the Great Depression when she addressed a crowd with the following. “Let every dirty, lousy tramp arm himself with a revolver or knife on the steps of the palace of the rich and stab or shoot their owners as they come out. Let us kill them without mercy, and let it be a war of extermination and without pity.”

Class war.. Not just for the rich anymore..

From The New York Times:

Like a Monitor More Than a Tutor

Published: November 7, 2010

If a student finds French grammar or algebra incomprehensible, a tutor in those subjects can help. But if the problem is a child who will not budge from the Xbox, or pens doodles instead of topic sentences, some harried parents with cash to spare have been turning to homework helpers who teach organizational skills and time management, or who sometimes just sit there until the work is finished.

As schools have piled on expectations and as career paths have sucked in both mothers and fathers, this niche industry is catering to “students who are capable of doing the work” but “need someone there who can just be there with them to consistently do the work in a regular manner,” said Mike Wallach, who along with Ms. Kraglievich runs the service Central Park Tutors.

Full article at:

Gee it must be nice…