Wisc. State Rep’s fiery speech against Walker’s leadership

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Rep. Moore Tells Anti-Choice GOP Where to Shove Black Genocide Lie

One of the ultra right wing anti-choice lies is that access to birth control and abortion is genocide aimed at African American.  This lie is aimed at denying  poor African American women and by extension all poor women access to contraception, abortion and other reproductive rights.

I am thankful for all the courageous women who are standing up to label this misogynistic attack upon women’s rights, Particularly Rep. Moore and Rep. Spheier.

Go read the article at Color Lines: http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/02/when_they_were_supposed_to.html

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Exposing the Republicans’ 3-Part Strategy to Tear the Middle Class Apart — What Are We Going to Do to Stop It?

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/economy/149981/exposing_the_republicans%27_3-part_strategy_to_tear_the_middle_class_apart_–_what_are_we_going_to_do_to_stop_it/

GOP forces are trying to deflect attention from the growing wealth transfer to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.

By Robert Reich

February 20, 2011

The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

By splitting working America along these lines, Republicans want Americans to believe that we can no longer afford to do what we need to do as a nation. They hope to deflect attention from the increasing share of total income and wealth going to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.

Republicans would rather no one notice their campaign to shrink the pie even further with additional tax cuts for the rich – making the Bush tax cuts permanent, further reducing the estate tax, and allowing the wealthy to shift ever more of their income into capital gains taxed at 15 percent.

The strategy has three parts:

1. The Battle over the Federal Budget

The first is being played out in the budget battle in Washington. As they raise the alarm over deficit spending and simultaneously squeeze popular middle-class programs, Republicans want the majority of the American public to view it all as a giant zero-sum game among average Americans that some will have to lose.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/149981/exposing_the_republicans%27_3-part_strategy_to_tear_the_middle_class_apart_–_what_are_we_going_to_do_to_stop_it/

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Why doesn’t anybody want to feel like a natural woman anymore?

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/19/suzanne-moore-femininity-cosmetic-surgery

We now have a new aesthetic of femininity where everything is meant to be as fake as possible

Suzanne Moore

Saturday 19 February 2011

Falsies have become my preoccupation. But clearly not just mine. I could buy a mascara called Falsies to give myself “the ultimate false lash glam look”. But why do that when I could just wear enormous false eyelashes? Or, better still, spend a small fortune on lash extensions, which hopefully wouldn’t fall off for a few weeks if tended lovingly. It all seems a lot of time and energy, really.

On the train or at the supermarket I see many young girls with long, spidery, glittery lashes, even when in their uniforms. I quite like this overalls-and-drag-queen look. I like the lack of pretence that this is real. But how did we get here, I wonder – to this new aesthetic of femininity where everything is meant to look as fake as possible? Hair, nails, tan, teeth, tits. Sure, I know the rules: that we are born naked, and “the rest is just drag”. Sure, I get the hyper-femininity of the big queens and the game old birds such as Dolly Parton and Cher. What is strange is that a parody of femininity is now what many ordinary women are aspiring to.

There was time when falsies were the pads shoved down your bra to make your breasts seem bigger, a kind of comedy stuffing. Now the stuffing is put directly inside the flesh, in the form of silicon implants. While not as cheap as chips, false breasts are certainly becoming as common as them.

The “boob job” industry is massive. Boom boom. And everyday. Cosmetic surgery was once only the province of the rich, famous and deluded. It was surely another era when I was ferried to an American TV studio to debate with the legendary Betty Friedan and some daft woman who was claiming that her breast enlargement was a political act. A grouchy Freidan keep shouting into my ear: “So she thinks she can buy big bazookas, right?” It was a struggle to explain I was on Friedan’s side, and now I wonder if anyone would even bother with this discussion. The political language of empowerment about reproductive rights and equality in the workplace has itself been given a makeover. Gok Wan makes women feel better not by giving them more actual control, but by giving them control pants.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/19/suzanne-moore-femininity-cosmetic-surgery


Study of Breast Biopsies Finds Surgery Used Too Extensively

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/health/19cancer.html?ref=health

Published: February 18, 2011

Too many women with abnormal mammograms or other breast problems are undergoing surgical biopsies when they should be having needle biopsies, which are safer, less invasive and cheaper, new research shows.

A study in Florida found that 30 percent of the breast biopsies there from 2003 to 2008 were surgical. The rate should be 10 percent or less, according to medical guidelines.

The figures in the rest of the country are likely to be similar to Florida’s, researchers say, which would translate to more than 300,000 women a year having unnecessary surgery, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Many of these women do not even have cancer: about 80 percent of breast biopsies are benign. For women who do have cancer, a surgical biopsy means two operations instead of one, and may make the cancer surgery more difficult than it would have been if a needle biopsy had been done.


The reason for the overuse of open biopsies is not known. Researchers say the problem may occur because not all doctors keep up with medical advances and guidelines. But they also say that some surgeons keep doing open biopsies because needle biopsies are usually performed by radiologists. The surgeon would have to refer the patient to a radiologist, and lose the biopsy fee.

A surgical biopsy requires an inch long incision, stitches and sometimes sedation or general anesthesia. It leaves a scar. A needle biopsy requires only numbing with a local anesthetic, uses a tiny incision and no stitches and carries less risk of infection and scarring.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/health/19cancer.html?ref=health

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Wisconsin: The First Stop in An American Uprising?

From Yes Magazine: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/wisconsin-the-first-stop-in-an-american-uprising

It took awhile, but Wisconsin shows that the poor and middle class of the U.S. may be ready to push back. Madison may be only the beginning.

by Sarah van Gelder

posted Feb 18, 2011

Reposted in full exercising the Creative Commons Agreement: “YES! Magazine encourages you to make free use of this article by taking these easy steps.

Gelder, S. v. (2011, February 18). Wisconsin: The First Stop in An American Uprising?. Retrieved February 19, 2011, from YES! Magazine Web site: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/wisconsin-the-first-stop-in-an-american-uprising. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

The uprising that swept Tunisia, Egypt, and parts of Europe is showing signs of blossoming across the United States.

In Wisconsin, public employees and their supporters are drawing the line at Governor Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate collective bargaining and unilaterally cut benefits. School teachers, university students, firefighters, and others descended on the capital in the tens of thousands, and even the Superbowl champion Green Bay Packers have weighed in against the bill. Protests against similar anti-union measures are ramping up in Ohio.

Meanwhile, another protest movement aimed at protecting the poor and middle class is in the works. Cities around the country are preparing for a February 26 Day of Action, “targeting corporate tax dodgers.”

Learning from the UK

The strategy picks up on the UK Uncut campaign, begun when  a group at a London pub—a firefighter, a nurse, a student, and others—came up with an idea that is part flash mob, part sit-in. In an article published in the Nation, reporter Johann Hari tells the story of the group’s frustration about government cutbacks. If Vodafone, one corporation with a huge back-tax bill, paid up, the cutbacks wouldn’t be needed. The group spread the word over social media, and held loud, impolite demonstrations. The idea quickly went viral, and flash mobs/sit-ins materialized at retail outlets across Britain, shutting many of them down.

Now, a US Uncut group has formed and announced a February 26 Day of Action here to coincide with UK Uncut’s planned protests on the same day. Already, a dozen local events are planned. Some groups are keeping quiet about their targets, but several are targeting Bank of America. The goal, according to a statement on the US Uncut website, is “to draw attention to the fact that Bank of America received $45 billion in government bailout funds while funneling its tax dollars into 115 offshore tax havens […] And to highlight the fact that the poor and middle class are now paying for this largess through drastic government cuts.”

The Politics of Class Warfare

Across the country, the poor and middle class have suffered from the economic collapse: jobs disappeared, mortgages sank underneath debt, and opportunities for a college education evaporated. Much of the bailout that was supposed to fix the economy went to the very institutions that caused the collapse. Many of these institutions are now using tax loopholes and offshore tax shelters to avoid paying taxes.

It took some time for a political response to coalesce. The Tea Party movement was able to direct discontent away from the Wall Street titans who brought the economy to its knees. Funding from the Koch brothers’ petro-fortune along with fawning attention from Fox News helped get the libertarian movement off the ground. But progressives remained fragmented and few built active, organized bases. Many waited for President Obama to act.

The tide may now be turning. Inspired by people-power movements around the world, people in the United States are beginning push back. The poor and middle class, those who didn’t cause the collapse but have felt the most pain from the poor economy, are now being asked to sacrifice again.

Politicians are scurrying to cut spending, but fewer than one in five Americans say the federal  budget deficit is their chief worry about the economy, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center; 44 percent say they’re most worried about jobs. Polls show that Americans also want spending for education, investment in infrastructure, and environmental protection. Yet spending in all these areas is up for drastic cuts in state and federal budgets.

Likewise, on the tax side, 59 percent of Americans opposed extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, according to a Bloomberg poll. Congress cut the taxes anyway, and the package will cost $800 billion over just two years.

Until now, polls have been one of the few places where anger at government policies that favor the rich while cutting service to the middle-class has been visible. But the crowds in Madison and the momentum of US Uncut tell us that may be about to change.

As a statement on the US Uncut website puts it: “We demand that before the hard-working, tax-paying families of this country are once again forced to sacrifice, the corporations who have so richly profited from our labor, our patronage, and our bailouts be compelled to pay their taxes and contribute their fair share to the continued prosperity of our nation. We will organize, we will mobilize, and we will NOT be quiet!”

Here’s a “how-to” from UK Uncut:

Sarah van Gelder is executive editor and co-founder of YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions.

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A Taste of The Nightwatchman

When I was working in the Big Box Tom Morello on the car’s changer helped me stay sane.

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A Special Message From Captain Paul Watson on the Victory in the Southern Ocean!

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