Hawaii passes trans employment protections

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/04/19/hawaii-passes-trans-employment-protections/

Staff reports | Apr 19, 2011

HONOLULU — The Hawaii state House of Representatives today passed a bill that would protect  employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity, several media outlets have reported.

The Senate had previously approved the legislation. The governor has indicated he will sign it.

HB 546 Sd1 passed in the House 45-4 with two absences.

“Today is a great day for all residents of Hawaii,” said Alan Spector, Equality Hawaii co-chair in a statement.  “Providing employment protections to transgender people in Hawaii is a victory for civil rights.  The people of this state should be judged on the quality of work they do and not on who they are — that’s what this legislation guarantees.”

Hawaii law already codified protections for transgender people in housing and public accommodations, and prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations.

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Nevada: Assembly passes transgender discrimination bill

From The Las Vegas Review-Journal:  http://www.lvrj.com/news/nevada-assembly-passes-transgender-discrimination-bill-120127269.html

By Ed Vogel

Posted: Apr. 18, 2011
Updated: Apr. 19, 2011

CARSON CITY — In a monumental vote for one of the state’s least-known minorities, the state Assembly Monday backed a bill that would outlaw job discrimination against transgender people.

Members voted 29-13 for Assembly Bill 211, which would prevent discriminating against people based on their gender identity or expression.

All 26 Democrats backed the bill, with three of the 16 Republicans: John Hambrick of Las Vegas, Ed Goedhart of Amargosa Valley and Kelly Kite of Minden.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where supporters think they have the votes to pass the bill. Gov. Brian Sandoval hasn’t given an indication whether he will sign it.

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas, said transgender people testified they often are denied jobs because of how they look. There are 25,000 transgender people in Nevada.

There are three other bills on transgender rights coming up for votes in the Senate. One would abolish discrimination in public accommodations, and another would abolish discrimination in housing. The last would make crimes against transgender people hate crimes subject to longer prison sentences.

Activists were pleased with the passage.

Continue reading at:  http://www.lvrj.com/news/nevada-assembly-passes-transgender-discrimination-bill-120127269.html

Songs of Humpback Whales

Back in the 1970s I use to have an album, “Songs of the Humpback Whale”.

I was an Eco-hippie and tree hugger even then and reading about the whales as well as going to see them off the coast of Cali caused me to think we should stop killing them.

Here were intelligent beings that lived in families that we had no need to kill yet were hunting to extinction.

Many consider my philosophy of placing a higher value on keeping species of animals from extinction than I place on killing them to help increase the human population to be misguided.

I think that humans should start realizing that it is in our interests to decrease the human population through limiting reproduction.  The alternative is too frightening to imagine.

From today’s Science Section of The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19profile.html?_r=1&ref=science

Whales’ Grandeur and Grace, Up Close

Published: April 18, 2011

On a warm summer afternoon in 2005, Bryant Austin was snorkeling in the blue waters of the South Pacific by the islands of Tonga, looking through his camera at a humpback whale and her calf swimming less than 50 yards away. As he waited for the right moment, the playful calf swam right up to him, so close that he had to lower his camera. That’s when he felt a gentle tap on his shoulder.

Turning around, Mr. Austin found himself looking straight into the eye of the mother whale, her body bigger than a school bus. The tap had come from her pectoral fin, weighing more than a ton. To Mr. Austin, her gesture was an unmistakable warning that he had gotten too close to the calf. And yet, the mother whale had extended her fin with such precision and grace — to touch the photographer without hurting him — that Mr. Austin was in awe of her “delicate restraint.”

Looking into the whale’s eye, lit by sunlight through the water, Austin felt he was getting a glimpse of calmness and intelligence, of the animal’s consciousness. The moment changed Mr. Austin’s life. It struck him that something was missing from four decades of whale photography: the beauty of true scale. Mr. Austin concluded that the only way to capture the magnificence of whales would be to create life-size pictures of them. “I wanted to recreate the feeling I had when I looked into the eye of the mother whale,” he said.

Mr. Austin has since pursued that dream, spending countless hours at sea in the company of whales. Working with five different whales from three species, he has created 25 true-scale pictures, including two full portraits — each composed from dozens of photographs of different sections of the whale’s body. The largest photo is a 6-by-30-foot portrait of a dwarf Minke whale from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia; the panels that make up the image weigh a total of 600 pounds. Some of Mr. Austin’s work went on display this month at the Electric Works gallery in San Francisco.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19profile.html?_r=1&ref=science

Also from today’s Science Section of The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19obwhale.html?ref=science

A Recording Studio Found Under the Pacific

Published: April 18, 2011

Humpback whales not only sing, they imitate the singing of other whales. And some of their tunes turn into worldwide hits, with whales all over the Pacific Ocean picking them up.

Several genetically different groups of humpbacks, separate populations with little interchange among them, live in the South Pacific. Researchers recorded 11 different song types in the region from 1998 to 2008.

Their study, published online Thursday in Current Biology, found that each year, songs spread from one group to another, moving east from Australia to French Polynesia. They believe that this is the first observation of a cultural change transmitted repeatedly on such a large geographic scale.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19obwhale.html?ref=science

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Vaginal weakening can affect transsexuals as well

From Reuters:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/12/us-vaginal-weakening-can-affect-transsex-idUSTRE73B6KV20110412

By Leigh Krietsch Boerner

NEW YORK | Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:33pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Years after transgender surgery, transsexuals can suffer from vaginal prolapse, where muscles around the vagina weaken and neighboring organs bulge in, a Swiss study says.

The condition affects as many as half of women older than 50 who’ve given birth, but it also occurred in 4 of the 55 transsexuals who participated in the study, according to the paper in Fertility and Sterility.

“Professionals who look after transsexual patients should well be aware that this health problem involving bladder, bowel and sexual function as well as quality of life may trouble their patients,” co-author Dr. Annette Kuhn, a gynecologist at the University of Berne, told Reuters Health by email.

There have been very few studies on the risks of transsexual surgery, the researchers say. This is the first on prolapse in transsexuals.

“If you think of the vagina like a sock, (prolapse is) like the toe of the sock coming down through the opening,” said Dr. Tyler Muffly, who’s completing a fellowship in obstetrics and gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland Ohio.

Women are at risk for prolapse if they “have done heavy lifting or have a constipation issue,” Muffly, who did not work on the study, told Reuters Health. “Also, childbirth is a major risk factor.”

The researchers had 55 transsexual patients fill out a survey on urinary and bowel symptoms that have to do with vaginal prolapse. They also performed pelvic examinations on all the patients. The average age of the patients in the study was 57, and the average amount of time since their sex reassignment surgery was 16 years.

Four of them had vaginal prolapse.

Continue reading at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/12/us-vaginal-weakening-can-affect-transsex-idUSTRE73B6KV20110412

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“We Won’t Go Back” featuring Lisa Edelstein

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Worshiping the Sacred Pig

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/19-14

by John Feffer
Published on Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Washington is a slaughterhouse these days, as politicians from across the political spectrum take their knives to the budget. Going under the blade are dozens of social programs that provide food for low-income women and children, energy assistance to folks who can’t pay their heating bills, and health care provided through community centers.

In its luxury pen, meanwhile, the sacred pig grows fatter and fatter. To relax the beast, our politicians give the monstrous thing periodic hand massages, like the Japanese do to their legendary Kobe beef cows. As a result, the sacred pig is well-marbled with fat. It is content and happy, and when it outgrows its enclosure, the government simply builds it a newer, grander, and ever bigger facility. But as soon as someone, anyone, approaches the pen with a sharp implement, sirens go off and the assailant is apprehended.

The Pentagon pig is off-limits. We’ve designed an entire religion around its untouchability. When the U.S. government nearly shut down over the 2011 budget, both parties agreed to exempt the Pentagon from a spending freeze and actually added $5 billion over last year’s base budget. For the 2012 budget, the Pentagon is looking at a free ride as well, with its base budget projected to increase 15 percent by 2016.

President Obama, last week during his address on the budget crisis at George Washington University, seemingly broke the taboo. Approaching the sacred Pentagon pig with a sharp object behind his back, the president promised to cut $400 billion in national security spending. The alarm bells went off as Obama issued his threat. He pulled the sharp implement from behind his back to reveal…a nail file.

The pig doesn’t really have any reason to worry. The president, you see, has promised to cut that money over a 12-year period. “These proposed cuts would come from an overall national security budget of approximately $1 trillion a year — which [also] includes portions of the budgets of Homeland Security, the State Department, intelligence services, and others,” I write in a Christian Science Monitor op-ed. “So in effect, the president is proposing only around a three percent cut, which still lets the Pentagon off easy.” Compare the proposed $33 billion annual reduction to the $70 billion the Government Accountability Office reports in Pentagon waste .

The United States is the biggest culprit behind global military spending. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute announced last week that the world hit a new and dubious record: $1.63 trillion in global military expenditures.

Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/19-14

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The IMF and World Bank Creating Crises

Hi, I’m Rick Santorum, Google Me!

I’m running for President and my name is synonymous with the frothy mixture of lube, cum and shit one occasionally gets when engaging in anal intercourse.

I am generally considered to be a creepy right wing moron as well as a misogynist and homophobe.

I used a line from a left wing gay African American poet and boy do I ever feel stupid.

So I stepped all over my dick while back pedaling on this slogan, after all with a name like Santorum (Google me), I can’t be too careful about being associated with anything said by a gay man, especially a left wing black gay man.

From Salon: http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/04/15/santorum_hughes_slogan/index.html

Rick Santorum disowns campaign slogan when told a gay liberal poet came up with it

“Fighting to Make America America Again” is a bit too close to Langston Hughes for the candidate’s comfort

By Alex Pareene
Friday, Apr 15, 2011

Long-ago Sen. Rick Santorum is running for president, despite his “Google problem,” and fresh out of the gate he has already invited more mockery. His campaign website features the slogan, “Fighting to Make America America Again” (by which I think he means that America is not America when there’s a Muslim in charge).

As some liberals have noted, “Let America Be America Again” is the title of a poem by Langston Hughes, an avowed leftist who was probably gay. And the poem does not really reflect the Santorum agenda.

Because Santorum is not a very good politician, he allowed himself to be “tripped up” by a student who asked him about how his campaign slogan was written by a gay, black, pro-union leftist poet:

Santorum by and large stayed on message but was tripped up a bit when a student asked him if he knew that the choice of his slogan, “Fighting to make America America again,” was borrowed from the “pro-union poem by the gay poet Langston Hughes.”

Continue reading at:   http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/04/15/santorum_hughes_slogan/index.html

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McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

One has to be a shit eating brown nose to not refer to the jobs in the New Servant Economy as McJobs.

Can you really imagine anyone with an alternative that doesn’t require shedding ones’s last drop of humanity saying, “Oh boy I got hired at McDonald’s where I too can be a slave earning a below poverty wage”?  On top of not earning enough to live on you are supposed to smile.

One has to really look hard to find a worse job than Walmart, yet the proles of the underclass consider the fast food industry a step down from Walmart.

So much for the “Economic Recovery”…

From Infoshop: http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2011041617404

McDonald’s: Taxing Americans for 56 Years

by Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
April 15, 2011

“April 15” fills many Americans with anxiety as tax returns become due (though this year Uncle Sam has given us until April 18). I recently remembered that April 15 has another grim association: the opening, 56 years ago, of Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s franchise in Des Plaines, Ill. (Now is as good a time as any to disclose that my organization has hauled Ronald McDonald to court to try to stop the predatory practice of using toys to lure children to disease-promoting Happy Meals.)

With the possible exception of Coca-Cola (itself a McDonald’s menu mainstay), I can’t think of another food company that has had such an enormous impact on the way we eat and the way we farm. Yes, thanks to McDonald’s, one can eat out quite cheaply. And it’s hard to be dismissive of that achievement in a time of high unemployment and high income disparity. But that low price obscures the financial toll exacted on Americans by McDonald’s and McDonald’s imitators in terms of the costs associated with treating obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. So in that way, fast food restaurants have been taxing us for the past half-century-plus: We now spend more than $270 billion each year on heart disease alone.

Of course, McDonald’s isn’t to blame for all diet-related disease. But consider the ways in which McDonald’s has contributed to the homogenization of the American diet. Fatty, factory-farmed burgers on refined white bread, for instance, have become the omnipresent, default sandwich. McDonald’s original little burger may have just started the world-wide arms race to build the biggest, baddest burgers. The Big Mac was bad enough, but it’s the cultural grandfather of monstrosities like Hardee’s 1,320-calorie Monster Thickburger.

Consider french fries. McDonald’s fries are less harmful than they used to be, because the company has ditched partially hydrogenated frying oils, and beef tallow before that, in favor of trans-fat-free vegetable oil. But McDonald’s may have just acclimated the whole country to consider a deep-fried, low-nutrient white potato as the default vegetable side dish. Equally important, I believe that McDonald’s deserves a good share of the blame for the fact that many Americans consider high-calorie, low-nutrient sodas to be the default beverage. Before McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants, soft drinks were occasional treats. But with sugary soft drinks, usually Coke, being the default beverage sold with fast-food meals, kids grow up thinking that a meal without a soda is like an evening without television.

Billions of dollars of advertising over the years — McDonald’s spent $872 million in 2009 alone — makes all of this seem normal. I don’t think that McDonald’s genius was in satisfying a demand for meals of burgers, fries, and Cokes. Its genius was creating that demand in the first place. And thus, the occasional treat or convenience is now a once-, twice-, or even a thrice-a-day indulgence. (Unguardedly using the language of street drug pushers, McDonald’s actually refers to its best customers as “heavy users.”)

It’s a smaller point, but consider how McDonald’s also has shaped where, and how quickly, we consume our food. Many years ago, it would have been considered bizarre, or at least impolite, to eat a meal while behind the wheel of a moving car. But the drive-through culture that McDonald’s helped midwife made that dangerous practice commonplace.

In the 56 April 15ths that have passed by since Ray Kroc’s dream became a reality, McDonald’s has coarsened our palates, expanded our waistlines, clogged our arteries, and brainwashed our children with toy-based marketing. I hope that Food Day, the recently launched grassroots push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane manner, slowly begins to undo some of the damage fast food has done to our diets and our culture. The Food Day campaign culminates on October 24, and will publicize the message that “it’s time to eat real” and will celebrate healthy, delicious, home-cooked meals. That’s a message that should turn one clown’s smile into a frown.

Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., is executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and is the founder of Food Day.

From Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2291534/

Heading for a McRecovery?

McDonald’s plan to hire 50,000 people in one day and what it says about America’s economic prospects.

By Annie Lowrey
Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2011

McDonald’s has named today, April 19, “national hiring day.” As with everything McDonald’s, it’s all about scale. In one day, the chain hopes to add as many as 50,000 people to its payrolls; worldwide, it employs 1.7 million workers, runs 32,000 restaurants, and serves tens of millions of burgers every day. On the one hand, this is great news: 50,000 jobs! On the other hand, 50,000 McJobs?

Indeed, the McHiringSpree raises the question: Has the recession turned us into a nation of McWorkers? More precisely, what kind of jobs has the recovery ginned up?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a host of month-by-month information on who is working where, for how much and for how long. The data show that a few industries are at or above their level of employment before the recession started. The federal workforce is slightly bigger, once you factor out job losses at the Postal Service and ignore Census hiring. Employment is also up in some niches, like computer systems design. And health care remains the United States’ strongest growth industry, with tons of new jobs for workers like home health aides and physicians’ office workers.

But the industries where employment remains below peak are too long to list—jobs remain scarce in the vast majority of subcategories, from logging to personal and laundry services. (There’s some overlap between the subcategories, though, thankfully not between logging and laundry.) Alas, that is to be expected. The Great Recession sacked the entire economy. Demand remains low. Employers are hesitant to add too many workers, too soon.

So it may be better to measure from the trough than the peak, looking for the industries that have had a jobs uptick since bottoming out. According to the BLS, a lot of sectors have seen a mild, tentative rebound. Businesses from railways to clothing retailers have taken back some of the workers they shed. And one chart looks like a big V, rather than a reverse checkmark, meaning strong jobs growth: “temporary help services.”

Despite the gains and the rebounds and the upticks, though, it all adds up to a fairly bleak picture: The jobs we’re adding, for the most part, aren’t great ones. The National Employment Law Project took a closer look at employment and jobs-growth data in February. What it found wasn’t encouraging. The advocacy group says that just 14 percent of recent job growth comes from high-wage industries. About half comes from low-wage industries. According to NELP’s report, restaurants and food services businesses, “especially” fast food outlets, comprised 7 percent of hiring. And most gigs, NELP found, came “from rapid hiring by the temp industry,” meaning the positions that often come without benefits, health care, or much income security.

Continue reading at: http://www.slate.com/id/2291534/

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After Budget Showdown, Women Under the Bus

From The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/article/159948/after-budget-showdown-women-under-bus

Katha Pollitt
April 14, 2011

It’s getting awfully crowded underneath that bus. You know, the metaphorical one women keep getting thrown under, along with their rights, their health and their money. Women lost much of their insurance coverage for abortion during the fight over the healthcare reform bill last fall, but at least they got some good things out of it: coverage for millions of uninsured women, preventive care including breast and cervical cancer screenings, and a bar on refusing coverage for such pre-existing conditions as having been a rape or domestic violence victim. Overall—and assuming the law is not overturned or sabotaged by the Republicans—women will be better off in terms of affordable healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, than if the bill had been scuttled over the Stupak-Pitts amendment.

The budget deal just concluded was no such compromise. The headlines are all about how the Democrats refused to cave to Republican demands to defund Planned Parenthood and saved the day for women’s reproductive health—at least until September, when the GOP and its media spokespeople will crank up their misogynistic fog machine all over again. It’s hard to see how they’d go further: Arizona’s Jon Kyl claimed on the floor of the House that “90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions” (it’s actually around 3 percent); his office later said his statement was “not intended to be factual.” Rush Limbaugh claimed, “Planned Parenthood is a money-laundering operation for the Democrat Party.” Glenn Beck said that only “hookers” use Planned Parenthood (in fact, one out of every five women has visited a PP clinic, including this writer). Widespread mockery of these weird remarks might lead you to think they backfired. Not necessarily. Look at the fine print: to keep Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, Democrats agreed to bar Washington, DC, from using its own revenues to pay for abortion care for women on Medicaid. And in a tiny footnote, the final budget cuts Title X, the federal family-planning program, by $17 million. What women “got” was only that one of three bad possibilities didn’t happen. You have to hand it to the Republicans: even when they lose, they win.

The Washington ban is more important than has been portrayed. First of all, it involves a lot more money than reported. “The sound and fury of last week’s budget debate came down to a dollar figure that some members of Congress could have covered by writing a personal check,” wrote Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times, citing a figure of $62,300 since August. Actually, Laura Meyers, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, told me by phone that PPMW, the region’s largest abortion provider, just began accepting Medicaid for abortions in February. Thus, the annual sum paid out by the District would have been much higher than Tavernise implied. I mention this not to suggest that abortion is an expensive budget item—it isn’t, especially compared with, say, tax breaks for millionaires or our many ongoing wars—but to point out that this ban is not a trivial issue. There are 105,874 poor women receiving medical assistance, including Medicaid, in Washington; many are in their childbearing years. For them, the cost of a first-trimester abortion is a big deal. “When someone is struggling to feed and clothe their kids,” said Meyers, “$400 is huge. Just huge. Women will be scrambling now.” She noted that abortion funding bans do not prevent abortion; they merely push them later in pregnancy, when they are more expensive and more stressful.

Continue reading at: http://www.thenation.com/article/159948/after-budget-showdown-women-under-bus

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It’s ‘Shock and Awe’ for Women, the Middle Class and the Poor Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

NOW Press Release: http://now.org/press/04-11/04-19.html

April 19, 2011

Watch out — the war being waged on women, the middle class and the poor just took another dark turn. Those connecting the dots will recognize the progression from the calamitous shock to the economy perpetrated by Wall Street to the systematic looting of public assets and families’ pocketbooks by conservative lawmakers in Washington and various states.

We must ask whether political calculation motivated Standard and Poor’s (S&P) to announce its negative outlook for the U.S. yesterday. Right-wing legislators wasted no time jumping on the announcement as ‘proof’ that the U.S. must cut Social Security benefits, voucherize Medicare, block grant Medicaid, and target a host of other social programs that disproportionately serve and employ women — not just family planning but also assisted housing, student loans, Head Start, nutrition, prenatal and infant care and hundreds of other important programs.

Women rely on these programs especially because the recovery, which is anemic to begin with, is leaving them behind. While women accounted for one-third of the jobs lost in the recession, men have picked up almost 90 percent of the job gains. The wage gap — women on average are paid only 77 cents on the dollar paid to men — makes it even harder for women to make ends meet. And women of color, subjected to race-based as well as gender-based wage discrimination, are at particular risk.

But conservative politicians and their corporate backers are oblivious to these realities. No surprise there — this is the same crowd who converted the federal budget surplus to a massive deficit in the Bush/Cheney administration. They were the cheerleaders when the U.S. was led into unnecessary and catastrophically costly wars. They engineered the huge tax breaks on the wealthiest, and then deregulated Wall Street, which soon went out of control and drove the U.S. economy off a cliff, creating the worst unemployment crisis this country has seen in generations.

We hear repeatedly that the ‘serious’ approach to reining in the U.S. deficit and lowering this nation’s debt is to slash spending. But that ignores the revenue side of the budget, conveniently drawing attention away from the need to require multimillionaires and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and to generate income-tax-producing jobs. This is not rocket science: Jobs mean income; income means income tax; income tax means revenue to pay down the deficit. Seriously, who doesn’t get this?

But the forces at work here don’t give a hoot about lowering the debt or creating jobs. They are too busy making the ridiculously rich even richer while decimating government programs that give women and other disadvantaged people a chance at a decent life.

NOW calls on our elected leadership to stand up for our nation’s most admirable principles — those of fairness, equality and opportunity. Women will support those who do.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Bennett w. 202-628-8669, ext. 123, c. 301-537-7429

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Right-wing Extremist, Tim Pawlenty’s Education Committee: Kindergarten Sharing Is “Socialist”

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/tim-pawlenty-education-sharing-socialism

Greatest hits from the GOP presidential contender’s controversial education record.

By Tim Murphy
Tue Apr. 19, 2011

Tim Pawlenty’s tenure as governor of Minnesota was largely devoid of the kind of polarizing episodes that give campaign managers migraines. If anything, the knock on the GOP presidential contender seems to be that, with a few exceptions, he’s a little too ordinary. One of those exceptions came in 2003, when the newly elected Republican governor selected Cheri Yecke, a little-known Bush administration veteran, to produce new educational standards for what students should—and shouldn’t—learn.

The battle that followed put Pawlenty at the center of a culture war conflagration. Members of Yecke’s handpicked standards committees dismissed sharing and cooperation as “socialist” ideas, suggested replacing “We Shall Overcome” with “Dixie” in a unit on protest songs, and advocated downplaying the impact of slavery on the nation’s antebellum economy—lest it sour students on the virtues of the free market.

The resulting outcry was a major factor in Yecke’s removal from office by the Democratic-controlled state Senate, and handed Pawlenty one of his biggest political defeats.

As Pawlenty’s education commissioner, Yecke’s main job was to produce new standards in core subject areas, which could be used to track student performance under the just-passed No Child Left Behind Act. “We need to regain the edge that we have lost as an education innovator,” Pawlenty explained at the time. “Dr. Yecke is precisely the right person to lead that change.”

The resulting circus put Minnesota on the front lines of the culture wars. In the meetings, conservatives successfully argued that sharing was an inappropriate concept for kindergartners because of its creeping “socialist” implications. “In response to another critique noting the absence of organized labor from both the US History and the Economics standards,” Evans and Norling noted, “a different committee member sputtered, ‘unions! Don’t even go there!'”

Complete article at: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/tim-pawlenty-education-sharing-socialism

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US uses India as electronics garbage dump

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Waiting for the Spark

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/19-4

by Ralph Nader
Published on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

What could start a popular resurgence in this country against the abuses of concentrated, avaricious corporatism? Imagine the arrogance of passing on to already cheated working people and the jobless enormous corporate losses? This is achieved through government bailouts and tax escapes.

History teaches us that the spark usually is smaller than expected and of a nature that is wholly unpredictable or even unimaginable. But if the dry tinder is all around, as many deprivations and polls reveal, the spark, no matter how small, can turn into a raging inferno.

The Boston Tea Party lit up the American Revolution. Storming the hated Bastille (prison) by impoverished Parisians launched the French Revolution. More recently, in December 1997, an Israeli military vehicle rammed a civilian van in the West Bank killing seven occupants and igniting the first Intifada.

FB Action Sparks Protest of MI Corporate Tax Cuts, Emergency Management Powers

Last December, a young fruit vendor, abused by thieving police in a small Tunisian town, immolated himself in the local square. Seen by millions on Facebook, this self-sacrifice launched the Tunisian and Egyptian overthrow of their long-time dictators. Later, in Syria, after police arrested 13 youngsters in a southern border town for anti-government graffiti the place erupted in riots and rallies that are spreading to other cities.

A few weeks ago, many progressives and quite a few pundits believed that the recurrent, ever larger February-March rallies in Madison, Wisconsin by workers, students and others against the Governors’ and the Legislature’s attack on public employee unions and social services, following earlier blatant corporate welfare enactments, would be the long-awaited spark.

Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/19-4

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Anti-Racist Action Network Beat the Crap Out of Nazis, Hospitalize 4

I personally believe the only good Nazi  is a dead one, which is why “Call of Duty”, the WW II editions are my favorite shooter.  I am still waiting for some one to avenge the Nazis murdering left wing demonstrators in Greensboro, North Carolina.


The Greensboro massacre occurred on November 3, 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. Five protest marchers were shot and killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. The protest was the culmination of attempts by the Communist Workers Party to organize mostly black industrial workers in the area.[1]

The marchers killed were: Sandi Smith, a nurse and civil rights activist; Dr. James Waller, president of a local textile workers union who ceased medical practice to organize workers; Bill Sampson, a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School; Cesar Cauce, a Cuban immigrant who graduated magna cum laude from Duke University; and Dr. Michael Nathan, chief of pediatrics at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, North Carolina, a clinic that helped children from low-income families.

From Philly Burbs: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/burlington_county_times_news/neo-nazis-opponents-brawl/article_e6d4a41d-5036-5140-bffd-a9ed115bcf11.html

Neo-Nazis, opponents brawl

Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2011

PEMBERTON BOROUGH – A clash between neo-Nazis and members of an antiracist organization Friday evening left four Nazis in the hospital and prompted two arrests, according to the New Jersey State Police.

The fight involved about 50 people and took place on the eve of a neo-Nazi rally Saturday in Trenton.

State troopers responded to the fight at about 7 p.m. on the unit block of Pemberton Street, where members of the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement were gathering to prepare for their rally.

The group has been described as one of the largest neo-Nazi hate groups in the country and promotes a racist and anti-Semitic agenda, according to both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

While the NSM members were meeting, about 25 people from a Minnesota-based group called the Anti-Racist Action Network drove into the borough and an armed melee ensued between the two groups. They fought with weapons such as knives, pipes and wooden boards, state police said.

Continue reading at: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/burlington_county_times_news/neo-nazis-opponents-brawl/article_e6d4a41d-5036-5140-bffd-a9ed115bcf11.html

Anti-Racist Action Network


The rejection of the identity of victimization through cracking a Nazi’s skull.::.

The rejection of the identity of victimization through cracking a Nazi’s skull.
-by a bitch ass faggot

On Friday, April 15th, 2011 some anti-fascist in Anti-Racist Action learned of the location of the National Socialist Movement’s national conference for rank promotion and five-year planning. A group of 30 of us decided to march to where the Nazi’s were strongest, to bodily and boldly confront them, and we were decidedly victorious. After the the dust settled six Nazis were hospitalized, more were injured, their vehicles and property were damaged, and their conference was ended. On the other side, one anti-fascist required moderate first aid.

Many of us at the melee were people of color, working class, immigrants, women, queer, transgendered, and/or people on parole or probation. The logic of the victim is constantly thrust upon us. We are said to be ‘at risk’ and must be protected and pandered to. It is said that we need others, usually the State, to protect and stand up for us. But, through the action of splitting Nazis’ heads open, we rejected the logic of victimization. We will continue to do so, we will be victims no longer. We do not need others to stand up for us, we have each other. When we are attacked, we will find each other and counterattack, so hard and so fierce that we will surprise even ourselves.

If the Nazis call us bitch ass faggots, they might not be that far off the mark. But if they conflate those slurs with weakness, the six hospital visits they faced would prove otherwise.

Read more from: Anonymous’s blog


The Battle of Pemberton: ARA vs. NSM::.

The Battle of Pemberton: ARA vs. NSM

The National Socialist Movement (NSM), a group that tries to dance around the fact that they are Nazis while sporting swastikas on their uniforms and sieg heiling, had been planning to host their annual conference along with a rally, redneck horse shoe and band spectacle for several months.

The dates were set for April 15th and 16th. Of course we can assume they expected some unhappy spectators at the rally but what they didn’t predict was an all out battle that left 4 of their “SS security” force in the hospital with multiple staples. The NSM went through quite a bit of trouble keeping their event and sleeping locations private. This was nothing but a waste of time for the NSM considering the turncoats within their organization leaked the information to anti-fascists weeks in advance.

The 15th came around and a phone jam was put on both the hotel, where 50 or 60 of them stayed for the weekend(the Comfort Inn off 209 in Bordentown, NJ) and their conference location (the 449 club at 6 Pemberton Ave in Pemberton). Just as the conference was about to begin 30 of us took the streets about 2 blocks away and marched in black bloc to the conference location. Within that time several people living and passing through the neighborhood began to stare from the cars and porches as we let them know Nazis were meeting in their town. One person, upon notification, parked his car and joined the bloc immediately, eager to confront the boneheads. By the time we arrived to demonstrate a few nazis from the NSM gathered outside of the conference space but within a few seconds about 30 or 40 of their fully SS uniformed security were out with chairs, thinking they were about to kick some antifa tail. After some exchanged words the NSM walked off the property to engage us. They wanted a brawl…and we defended ourselves successfully.

After a brutal rumble of evenly matched numbers the NSM quickly scurried back to the property with bashed skulls, bruised faces and damaged property, sending 4 boneheads to the hospital (2 of which may still remain there). At this point the cops had shown up and we managed to retreat with one comrade minorly injured and two arrested. It can be assumed that if the conference was not shut down completely, the talking they were doing had nothing to do with rank promotions and five year plans, as it was supposed to. This was the part of the purpose of our demonstration; we are not trying to change their minds or tell them they have been bad little nazi sub-humans. We want to disempower them, leave them in fear and most importantly crush what they are trying to build. Not only did we win the physical battle by a mile, but given the goal at hand, they were completely
defeated. The conference was now minimized to a retreating space where the NSM would pout and discuss their defeat. According to some sources not only did some members of the NSM check into a different hotel, spending more money and fearing more attacks, but even the cops were laughing at how bad the nazis were beat and were quoted saying “ARA isn’t playing this weekend”, but then again, are we ever?

The next day, April 16th, it was time for the downtown rally in Trenton followed by the backyard concert on Jason Heickes’ property. Before the NSM showed for their hour long spectacle in which they gained no supporters whatsoever, not only were ARA, the new Black Panthers and other radical groups ready to confront the Nazis but the community itself filled the streets with rage looking to clean house. The NSM was protected by several hundreds of cops, as you can expect, and because of this there really was no physical stand off aside from a few rocks hurled at their busses as they exited the city. This was a second victory for us since they gained absolutely nothing and no one out of the formality while we showed our numbers and that we were more then prepared for another round. After the Nazis left, one of our other enemies in the three way struggle, the cops, moved aggressively to force us out of the city, but not before a few folks smashed some Bank of America windows. These actions show that the rage against the fascists is not based out of a will to preserve the status quo or protect capitalism but rather a will to reclaim what is ours and to smash racism, fascism and all oppression and apparati of control. Since one of the band members from Zyklon b had his head split wide open in the melee and because it was raining we assume the outdoor concert on Heickes’ property was at the very least not what they expected bringing. Yet another victory for our side.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Anti-Racist Action Network Beat the Crap Out of Nazis, Hospitalize 4

An ‘Oh Please!’ Moment: Is S&P Running Interference for the Right to Help Crush Social Security and Medicare?

From This Can’t Be Happening: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/568

by: Dave Lindorff
Mon, 04/18/2011

Today’sbreathless anxiety-inducing headline was that Standard & Poors, the rating agency, has issued a “negative outlook” warning on US sovereign debt, claiming that the US, in comparison with other countries with a top AAA credit rating, has “very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us”. S&P warned that there was a “a one in three chance that the US could lose its AAA rating in two years because of its mounting debt.”

The ratings firm–one of three global companies that Wall Street relies upon to establish the credit ratings of companies and nations around the world–said its analysts had “little confidence” that the Obama administration and the divided Congress would reach any agreement on a deficit-reduction plan before the next national election in the fall of 2012, and that they doubted that any such plan would be adopted until after 2014, two whole Congressional elections away.

So far, the other two ratings agencies, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings, have not followed suit. Moody’s issued a statement saying, ““Moody’s rating for the US is Aaa and remains stable,” though the company warns that “an upward debt trajectory and increasing fiscal pressures could increase the likelihood of an “outlook change” within “the next two years.”

Private ratings firms have awesome power. Are they playing political games with it?Private ratings firms have awesome power. Are they playing political games with it?

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings, which unlike Moody’s and S&P, is based in Europe, took an even more sober stance, saying, “In Fitch’s opinion, the likelihood of the U.S. government failing to honor its financial obligations and in particular make due and full payments on U.S. Treasury securities is extremely low. Ultimately, the recognition of the dire consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling in a timely manner will prevail over differences on the more fundamental issue of how best to place U.S. public finances on a sustainable path over the medium- to long-term.” Fitch goes on to add, “The brinkmanship over the debt ceiling and the 2011 budget will be resolved…Fitch does expect that the tough choices on tax and spending will be made – as is starting to be seen at the state and local level – that are necessary to place public finances on a sustainable path.” Unlike S&P and Moody’s, Fitch’s analysts note the critical point that “The U.S. ‘AAA’ status is underpinned by the flexibility and dynamism of its economy, as well as the exceptional financing flexibility that derives from the U.S. dollar’s role as the world’s predominant reserve currency.”

Continue reading at: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/568