Pawlenty Gets Glittered

Report From the Trenches: Class War in America

GOP Cuts To Food Aid For Seniors And Food Banks Equals One Day Of Bush Tax Cuts For Millionaires

From Think Progress:

By Pat Garofalo on Jun 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Today, the House is debating the Republican’s 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, which, as we’ve been documenting, slashes funding for food assistance, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from accessing aid. In addition to lopping more than $800 million from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the GOP’s bill would cut $38 million from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSIP), as well as $63 million from the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAB).

The CSFP provides food assistance to 600,000 low-income families every month, 96 percent of whom are seniors, while the TEFAP “provides our nation’s emergency food bank network with food commodities and storage and distribution support.” We previously noted that the cuts to WIC are roughly equivalent to the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires alone for just one week.

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Police Harassment of People from Food Not Bombs Continues

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The Great Wall of Los Angeles

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New Book: “Merchants of Doubt”: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

From Truth Out:

Thursday 16 June 2011
by: Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Bloomsbury Publishing | Book Excerpt
“Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming,” is the Truthout Progressive Pick of the Week.


Ben Santer is the kind of guy you could never imagine anyone attacking. He’s thoroughly moderate—of moderate height and build, of moderate temperament, of moderate political persuasions. He is also very modest—soft-spoken, almost self-effacing—and from the small size and non-existent décor of his office at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, you might think he was an accountant. If you met him in a room with a lot of other people, you might not even notice him.

But Santer is no accountant, and the world has noticed him.

He’s one of the world’s most distinguished scientists—the recipient of a 1998 MacArthur “genius” award and numerous prizes and distinctions from his employer—the U.S. Department of Energy—because he has done more than just about anyone to prove the human causes of global warming. Ever since his graduate work in the mid-1980s, he has been trying to understand how the Earth’s climate works, and whether we can say for sure that human activities are changing it. He has shown that the answer to that question is yes.

Santer is an atmospheric scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison Project, an enormous international project to store the results of climate models from around the globe, distribute them to other researchers, and compare the models, both with real-world data and with each other. Over the past twenty years, he and his colleagues have shown that our planet is warming—and in just the way you would expect if green house gases were the cause.

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Pam’s House Blend Now Off-Limits to Post-Transsexual Women Who are not Transgender-Identified

One way of maintaining the hegemonic dominance of any particular paradigm is through the McCarthyesque exercise of banning commenters.

While this blog has a high set of spam filters that keep it from being flooded with trolls and scammers wanting to sell drugs and devices for ED and those filters catch a lot of posts from even regular commenters, very few people have actually been banned, although a number are permanently moderated and may think they are banned.

Having an opinion doesn’t get you banned.  Bringing an argument with someone else here and using my blog to further the fight with someone who may not even read my blog will get you moderated.

Posts are open for comments for 10 days with a few rare exceptions which are closed for comments.

I don’t fight with transvestite Men’s Rights Advocates.

I used to read Pam’s House Blend on a daily basis.  I thought it was one of the better blogs around even though I was Blacklisted by Autumn Sandeen for advocating for the rights of post-transsexual women.

I saw Autumn doing things I considered praise worthy and told her so.  I then started posting again occasionally on PHB.

I tried to ignore how devoted it was to pushing the Transgender Borg Collective’s hegemonic ideology.

Then Autumn went off the tracks with a four part attack upon Ashley Love.  Ashley is a friend of mine,  we speak on the phone rather often.  I do not like bullying and Autumn’s attack on Ashley went beyond a simple rebuke of Ashley and veered into a baseball bat level assault using all the power of a major blog to execute this assault.

I realize Pam has been ill and has delegated a great deal of power and authority to Sandeen.  Sandeen has chosen to abuse that power and Pam seems unwilling or unable to step in and set limits on Autumn’s abuse of post-transsexual women.

In the mean time she has an entire amen choir acting as gang members out to subdue any dissenters from the Borg Collective’s Gospel according to Virginia Prince.

This has escalated over the last few weeks hitting a low point with:

Why the “Transsexual” vs. “Transgender” Debate is Irrelevant to the Fight for Equal Rights

by: Abby

I read the post and thought here comes the Transgender Borg Collective counter attack.

We are too useful to them to be allowed to peacefully leave the tattered umbrella.

It doesn’t matter when their arguments make zero sense or contradict our actual lived experiences.

It doesn’t matter that it is psychologically self-negating and emotionally harmful for a post-SRS woman to continue to believe in the ideology of the Transgender Borg Collective and that staying in that ghetto prevents her from growing as a person.  (None of which implies truth to any of the generally fictitious charges leveled against post-transsexual women who leave the hive.)

One of the latest slurs used by Autumn is “Genitalia Surgery Essentialist”

If the ones who get the operation are then truly women, it means that those who do not, are not and will never be.

Uh-oh, can’t let THAT happen!

So the goal-posts move.   For the never-ops, it’s still just the clothes and makeup that makes the woman.  For the post-ops, the threshold changes to something uncorrectable – that also leaves the never-ops as not-women-at-all in the process too, oops.

So it’s not about being “truly women” at all, it’s about making sure no one else can be.  

Add the straw-man “Genitalia Surgery Essentialist” concept, and that rules out everyone with vagina.

The only women left have penises.
Get it?

(by Absentee Thoughtlord)

(This earned a warning of moderation)

So Pam’s House Blend has become a space where one may of their own free will join the amen choir of the Stalinistic transgender Borg Collective or enjoy the freedom of not posting.

I chose to remove PHB from the Blog roll

An Exit Strategy from America’s Longest War — 40 Years of Disastrous Drug Prohibition

The War on Drugs has been responsible for many more deaths than the illegal drugs have ever been.

In the US more people die each year from prescription drugs than from illegal drugs.

The war on Drugs has turned the US in to a Prison/Police Industrial State with more people in prison or the criminal justice system than any other nation in the world (total numbers, not based on percentage of population.)

It has turned Mexico and other Latin American nations into a war zone.

Whose interests are being served by this budget busting corrupt and useless war?

Slash funding for the War on Drugs.  Free all prisoners in jail for non-violent drug charges and cut funding for the Police/Prison Industrial Complex.

From Alternet:–_40_years_of_disastrous_drug_prohibition/

When will we abandon what is arguably the most disastrous public policy in American history since chattel slavery and the jim crow legacy?

By Stephen Gutwillig and Tommy McDonald
June 15, 2011

Forty years ago this week, President Richard Nixon declared illicit drugs “public enemy #1.” The ensuing war on drugs has been fought in fits and starts by every ensuing administration and is arguably the most disastrous public policy in American history since chattel slavery and its Jim Crow progeny. This ignominious anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect, to ask ourselves and our leaders some very hard questions, and to demand a new direction in U.S. drug policy once and for all.

Initiated by President Nixon and escalated under Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, the war on drugs was said to be fought to keep Americans, particularly children, safe from harmful psychoactive substances. After four decades and at least $1 trillion, illicit drugs are actually cheaper, more potent, and widely available to Americans of all ages. Addiction remains persistent among a relatively small percentage of drug users, yet the overwhelming majority of people who want to access drug treatment don’t, most often because they simply can’t afford it. What’s more, overdose deaths as well as HIV and hepatitis C transmissions have all skyrocketed despite recognized, low-cost public health interventions. That’s because the drug war focuses on criminal justice — rather than health-centered — solutions to problems caused by drugs.

In fact, the acceleration of drug-related prosecutions is the largest contributor to the six-fold ballooning of this country’s prison population since 1970. Of the 2.3 million Americans behind bars, half a million are there for drug offenses, the vast majority for possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use. For context, the United States incarcerates more people just for drug crimes than Western Europe — with 100 million more people — incarcerates for all crimes combined. Here in California, we imprison 8,500 each year for drug possession, at an annual cost of nearly half a billion dollars.

Our over-reliance on a criminal justice approach to drugs is made even uglier by easily-documented racial disparities that reveal system-wide selective enforcement of our drug laws. Despite what we’re used to seeing in the mainstream media, people of all races and ethnicities consume and distribute drugs in roughly equal proportion. That means white Americans take and sell the vast majority of illicit drugs. Yet, African Americans and Latinos represent a startling two thirds of all people arrested for drug crimes. The impact of a permanent drug arrest record, let alone a felony conviction, has well-documented lifelong consequences. The mass criminalization of people of color, particularly young African American men, has become as profound a system of racial control as the Jim Crow laws were in this country until the mid-1960s.

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Magic mushroom’s positive effects lasting over a year, say researchers

Why is that the drugs they make illegal often seem to have more positive effects and less negative ones than the drugs pushed on us by the Drug Industry?

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine claim to have determined the proper dose levels needed to create positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior that persist for more than a year with the psychoactive substance in so-called “magic mushrooms.”

The findings are the latest in a series of experiments done at Johns Hopkins to investigate psilocybin, a psychedelic substance contained in certain mushrooms. The findings were published online this week in the peer-reviewed journal Psychopharmacology.

“In cultures before ours, the spiritual guide or healer had to discern how much of what type of mushroom to use for what purposes, because the strength of psychoactive mushrooms varies from species to species and even from specimen to specimen,” said Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s lead scientist.

“In our laboratory, weʼre working with the pure chemical psilocybin, which we can measure out precisely,” he added. “We wanted to take a methodical look at how its effects change with dosage. We seem to have found levels of the substance and particular conditions for its use that give a high probability of a profound and beneficial experience, a low enough probability of psychological struggle, and very little risk of any actual harm.”

The researchers said 94 percent of the study’s 18 participants rated their experiences with psilocybin as among the top five most or as the top most spiritually significant experience of his or her life at a 14-month follow-up. Eighty-four percent also reported positive changes in their behaviors, changes like improved relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased devotion to spiritual practice, which were corroborated by family members and others.

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Indignados in Seville and Barcelona: reports from the Spanish Revolution


Submitted by posi
Jun 13 2011

Reports from anarchists in two different cities in Spain about the assemblies movement there. From late May/Early June 2011. Translated for The Commune.

Indignados in Seville

I find it difficult to write about the movement of indignados in Seville and maybe that’s because I’ve been an activist for many years in this city. So I’m writing while aware that my opinions aren’t very representative of the movement as a whole.

For the people with more experience of militancy, this movement, largely spontaneous, caught us totally by surprise. This has had palpable consequences. On the one hand most of the people involved are very depoliticised (in a certain meaning of the word) and have very little experience of organising, which means organisation has been from the beginning very chaotic. On the other hand, amongst the more ideological collectives, the supposedly depoliticised character and the extreme moderation of the demands has caused a certain rejection of the movement. The camp in Seville has taken on a character which I think is fairly similar to the other cities in Spain. There is a ferocious rejection of any type of organisation or political symbols, starting with parties and unions, but also a rejection of ideologies, ignoring the fact that the movement itself is being formed with a body of very defined and clear ideas. The reformist nature of the demands is also generating a notable rejection on the part of a lot of comrades.

However, there are aspects of the movement (and its underlying ideas) which should be especially interesting for libertarians and autonomists. There is a total consensus about decision making through the mass assembly, rejection of hierarchical structures and vigilance regarding the creation of unnecessary leaders. The ferocity of the non-party nature of the movement comes from the fear of the co-option by political organisations which could try to impose their agenda, which should seem laudable. On the other hand, in the development of the occupation of the plazas there is a clear eagerness to generate forums for discussion, take a public space and an eagerness for autonomy and self organisation which moves to the commissions which are trying to extend into the barrios.

The demands have come to a large extent from outside the movement, from Madrid or from other spaces, and although they have been accepted in Seville, they are in great measure an excuse or one of the least important elements in what is an expression of generalised discontent, disorganised and without a real political agenda. The main idea that moves people is the discredited nature of representative democracy and two-party politics, and the subordination of politics to the interests of large capital. Apart from this the movement is extremely heterogeneous and none of its parts should be taken for the whole.

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From Common Dreams:

Spain’s ‘Indignant Ones’

by Pablo Ouziel
Published on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 by

While “Europe’s slow-motion financial collapse” – as Mother Jones magazine described it in a June 6th article – continues to unravel, Spain, like other European states continues to implement anti-social-neo-liberal policies with strong opposition from the citizenry.

It has been one month since the country’s ‘Indignados’ (Indignant Ones) movement claimed nonviolently sixty city-squares in cities across the country, calling for economic democracy, political justice and peace. Since then, much has happened within Spanish borders, and what is happening there is clearly spreading across Europe, where we have already witnessed social movements making similar demands. We have seen the Bastille in Paris, taken nonviolently by French ‘Indignados’ only to be quickly reclaimed by the country’s police force. We have observed the rise of a parallel movement in Portugal where most city squares have also been camped on by ‘Indignados’, and where only hours before the country’s general elections protestors in Lisbon were attacked and beaten by police. We have witnessed how on that same night, in Athens, Greece, 80,000 protestors congregated in the city’s main square in opposition to the country’s ‘austerity measures’, waving banners in solidarity with the ‘Indignados’ of Spain and of other European country’s.

Wherever you focus in Europe you hear the same cries of indignation. In some countries with more intensity than others, but the cry is becoming louder everywhere, and what seemed like a slow-motion financial collapse, is rapidly becoming an accelerated social catastrophe. Specifically in Spain, despite the political elite presenting a country recovering from the financial collapse, everyday things are getting worse economically, politically, and socially, and protest although nonviolent for the most part, could be on the verge of becoming violent unless political and economic elites begin to make some concessions.

On the economic front, Spain began June with comments from the European Commission about the potential of the country missing its economic growth and budget-deficit targets for the year; its recommendation was further economic reform. Then a report from the ratings agency Moody’s, pointed out that the high Catalan deficit was affecting the solvency of the whole of Spain. A few days later, in the region of Castilla-La Mancha, the incoming administration of the rightwing Popular party (PP), before even taking office, had already proclaimed that the region was “totally bankrupt”. Then, the National Statistics Institute revealed that Spain’s property sales in April had been the lowest since the institute began reporting in 2007. Obviously, this stream of negative news coupled with discussions taking place in Europe regarding a potential debt default by Greece, affected Spain’s bond sales and moved the country one step closer to a bailout, or a default followed by its subsequent debt restructuring.

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FDR Second Bill of Rights Speech Footage

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Focus On Jobs Or Spending Cuts?

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Europe warned of financial chaos over Greek debt crisis

From The Guardian UK:

Greek prime minister fails to form unity government as police battle rioters in Athens and shares tumble over default fears

Ian Traynor in Brussels, Helena Smith in Athens
The Guardian, Thursday 16 June 2011

Greece‘s 18-month sovereign debt crisis brought the government to the brink of collapse as public fury over savage austerity measures erupted in pitched battles with riot police on the streets of Athens.

The escalation of the Greek crisis had instant European and global impact, sending world stocks tumbling and exposing European Union paralysis over whether and how to launch a second attempt in a year to save Greece from insolvency.

George Papandreou, the socialist prime minister, announced he would seek a vote of confidence on a new government after offering to resign and broker a new national unity coalition with opposition conservatives.

He admitted failure after intense but fruitless negotiations with the conservative New Democracy party aimed at engineering a consensus behind the massive public spending cuts and wholesale privatisation programme – moves deemed necessary to secure a second bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The opposition called for Papandreou’s resignation and a renegotiation of the bailout terms with the EU, the European Central Bank, and the IMF as the price for its assent to a national coalition.

Earlier, riot police clashed with tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting in the capital against the radical austerity measures being imposed to try to secure a new bailout expected to amount to around €100bn.

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From The Guardian UK:

Greek crisis sends world markets into turmoil

Athens riots and government collapse causes oil prices to drop by $2 a barrel and Dow Jones and other indices to plunge

Larry Elliott and Heather, Wednesday 15 June 2011

Rioting on the streets of Athens and the collapse of the Greek government has sent world markets into turmoil. Shares and oil prices plunged, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 180 points by midday in New York, while the price of West Texas crude had fallen by more than $2 a barrel. The hi-tech Nasdaq index was down by more than 1%.

“It’s sell and ask questions later,” said Steven Goldman of Weeden & Co in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Yields on two-year Greek bonds – or the interest rate the Greek government would have to pay lenders – soared to almost 28%, suggesting that investors believe the country is on the point of bankruptcy.

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Once Upon a Time In Athens: The Legend of The Riot Dog