Get In Line

Today I got an e-mail from Change.Org asking me to support the following:

End LGBT Discrimination!!! Demand that a LGBT Rights Amendment be ratified to the U.S. Constitution.

OVERVIEW

Urge the Urge the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and President Obama to pass a LGBT Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

What would be an LGBT Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

An LGBT Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, would be a constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution that would to affirm that people who are LGBT have equal rights under the law.

The text of the LGBT Rights Constitutional Amendment

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

WTF?

Supreme Court Justice Scalia has said women are not protected by the 14th or any other amendment to the Constitution, although corporations which are not mentioned in the Constitution are. (so much for original intent).

As for working to pass a Constitutional Amendment protecting  LGBT/T folks?

I’ll hop right on that one.  Right after they pass the Equal Rights Amendment making women equal instead of second class citizens.

I’ve experienced far more discrimination in my life simply for being a woman than I have for being lesbian or for that matter for having been transsexual.

But I am not only a woman, I am a feminist, some might even say I am a radical feminist in that I put women’s interests ahead of men’s.  I put women’s interests ahead of transgender people’s interests.

I believe one of the most important steps in becoming a woman is reaching a point when you’re being a woman is more important than your history.

So… I’m all for passing a Constitutional Amendment protecting LGBT/T people, right after they pass the ERA.

ERA Now!

Experts warn epic weather ravaging US could worsen

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/29/experts-warn-epic-weather-ravaging-us-could-worsen/

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

CHICAGO — Epic floods, massive wildfires, drought and the deadliest tornado season in 60 years are ravaging the United States, with scientists warning that climate change will bring even more extreme weather.

The human and economic toll over just the past few months has been staggering: hundreds of people have died, and thousands of homes and millions of acres have been lost at a cost estimated at more than $20 billion.

And the United States has not even entered peak hurricane season.

“This spring was one of the most extreme springs that we’ve seen in the last century since we’ve had good records,” said Deke Arndt, chief of climate monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While it’s not possible to tie a specific weather event or pattern to climate change, Arndt said this spring’s extreme weather is in line with what is forecast for the future.

“In general, but not everywhere, it is expected that the wetter places will get wetter and the drier places will tend to see more prolonged dry periods,” he told AFP.

“We are seeing an increase in the amount (of rain and snow) that comes at once, and the ramifications are that it’s a lot more water to deal with at a time, so you see things like flooding.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/29/experts-warn-epic-weather-ravaging-us-could-worsen/

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Did ExxonMobil Break Its Promise To Stop Funding Climate Change Deniers?

From Mother Jones:  http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/06/exxonmobil-soon-climate-change-denier

By Kate Sheppard
Tue Jun. 28, 2011

Back in 2008, ExxonMobil pledged to quit funding climate change deniers. But according to new documents released through a Greenpeace Freedom of Information Act request, the oil giant was still forking over cash to climate skeptics as recently as last year, to the tune of $76,000 for one scientist skeptical of humankind’s role in global warming. This—and much more—came to light in a new report about the funding of Wei Hock “Wille” Soon, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Soon has been a favorite among climate skeptics for years, since coauthoring a paper back in 2003 that claimed that the 20th century was probably not the warmest, nor was it unique. That paper, published in the journal Climate Research, was widely criticized by climate scientists for its content, not to mention the funding it received from the American Petroleum Institute. An astrophysicist by training, Soon has also claimed that solar variability—i.e., changes in the amount of radiation coming from the sun—are to likely to blame for warming temperatures.

In 2007, Soon coauthored a paper challenging the claim that climate change harms polar bears. The paper drew plenty of criticism, as it was funded in part by the American Petroleum Institute, The Charles G. Koch Foundation, and ExxonMobil—groups with a clear interest in the debate over whether the bears merited endangered species protections.

Given that Soon had previously disclosed some of his corporate funding, in December 2009 Greenpeace submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Smithsonian Institution asking for information about Soon’s funders and any conflict of interest forms he may have submitted. In response, Smithsonian produced a list of his major bankrollers, which included more than $800,000 from major energy interests. According to the document, Exxon provided $55,000 for a study on Arctic climate change in 2007 and 2008, and another $76,106 for research into solar variability between 2008 and 2010.

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/06/exxonmobil-soon-climate-change-denier

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I’m Tired of Obama… I want a Progressive in the White House, one with a Backbone

It isn’t just his caving in to the Republi-Nazis on every major issue but the fact that he is no more progressive than Ronnie Reagan.  I place him to the right of even Bill Clinton who was another corporate pig sell-out.

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/us/politics/29marriage.html?_r=1

Obama’s Position on Gay Marriage Faces New Test

By
Published: June 28, 2011

WASHINGTON — When President Obama’s guests arrive at the White House on Wednesday for a Gay Pride reception — just days after New York became the largest state in the country to make same-sex marriage legal — they will no doubt be in a mood to celebrate.

But for their host, who does not endorse same-sex marriage, it could be somewhat awkward.

“I think they are trying to share the joy, which is genuine on their part, without changing his position,” Hilary Rosen, a prominent Democratic strategist, said of the White House. “I don’t think he can have it both ways here.”

For months, Mr. Obama, who has in the past opposed same-sex marriage, has said his views are “evolving.” But last week’s vote in Albany has intensified pressure on the president to say where he stands, particularly after remarks he made at a Manhattan fund-raiser disappointed and confused many gay rights advocates, including some of his most ardent supporters.

Some are now comparing Mr. Obama unfavorably with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat who championed the New York bill and helped get it passed in a Republican-controlled Senate.

Others took issue with Mr. Obama’s word choice at the Manhattan fund-raiser, where he noted that “traditionally marriage has been decided by the states.” His critics say that by invoking states’ rights, the president — a former constitutional law professor and son of a black father and a white mother — brought up arguments once used to justify laws that would have prevented his own parents from marrying.

“That was the argument they made about segregation,” Ms. Rosen, who has long been supportive of Mr. Obama, said Tuesday. “I don’t think people really believe that he believes that. It flies in the face of everything he has stood for.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/us/politics/29marriage.html?_r=1

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Dear Mr. President

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Wing Nut Daily Writer Wants Marriage Equality Supporters Tried And Punished

When I read shit like this I am glad I live in a state where it is legal for me to own a firearm, because these people are full blown Nazis and they frighten me.

From Right Wing Watch:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/wnd-writer-wants-marriage-equality-supporters-tried-and-punished

by Brian Tashman
June 27, 2011

Ted Beahr of the Christian Film and Television Commission and the publisher of Movieguide, “movie reviews through a Christian perspective,” wants New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators who backed marriage equality should be “subject to indictment, trial and just punishment.” Writing for WorldNetDaily, Beahr believes that New York’s marriage equality law not only stands in the face of God’s law but is also unconstitutional, because Beahr says that the Constitution must comply with God’s law. Beahr asserts that “the homosexualization” of America is part of a Communist conspiracy and ends the column by misattributing a famous quote of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall to Karl Marx in order to bolster his case:

Pages could be, have been and should be written about the progressive Marxist destruction of the American constitutional republic. And pages could be, have been and should be written about the destructive nature of the homosexualization of the culture. With regard to the illegal action of the New York state government, it is more important to understand clearly that the civil government has no authority in area of the free exercise of religion such as marriage. If it has no authority and tries to exercise power not vested to it, then the state is acting illegally.

We need to stand for God’s law in the face of the power grab by those in civil authority who know no restraints.

New York and the other increasingly socialized states have not only violated God’s law, they have also violated their own Constitution and the will of the governed. When they do that, they are just like King George. They have abdicated their moral and legal authority and are subject to indictment, trial and just punishment.

Now, all those who freely exercise their inalienable right to religious faith must stop acting like useful idiots and fellow travelers by going along to get along. Instead, they must stand for their God-given rights by proclaiming loud and clear that these New York government servants have crossed the line into illegal activity that has no authority and makes them criminals.

Often, people of faith and values do not stand up because they have been slowly boiled in the brine of socialism and so give the states powers they have no authority to use. Often the state or federal government creates the problem by violating our individual rights to property, estates, income, etc., through the Marxist device of illicit taxation. Then the government argues that the state needs to govern marriage to alleviate the tax burdens the state created so that it can encourage marriage. Such circular and dishonest reasoning has almost deceived the very electorate.

Continue Reading at:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/wnd-writer-wants-marriage-equality-supporters-tried-and-punishedby Brian Tashman

Gloria Steinem on Birth Control and Climate [6-21-2011]

Global Warming May Push Joshua Trees Out of Namesake National Park

From On Earth: http://www.onearth.org/article/global-warming-may-push-joshua-trees-out-of-namesake-national-park

June 28, 2011

Three hours east of Malibu, the Pacific Coast Highway, and everything that is L.A., a small multitude of Joshua trees stand sentinel over a desolate corner of Mojave high desert. They look as if they’ve been on this incredibly arid, lonely hillslope forever. But, trouble is, will they still be here tomorrow?

Research ecologists are still trying to answer just how climate change will affect the Joshua tree’s numbers, range and habitat.

They do know that over the millenia, the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) has evolved to thrive in the dry and hot Southwestern desert conditions and barren soils that a less specialized plant species could not tolerate.

Now, two recent papers detailing future climate scenarios for Joshua Tree National Park and the Joshua tree’s natural range are projecting tough times for this venerable Southwest icon.

The first study, published in the January issue of the journal “Ecological Applications,” detailed climate models that project that the Joshua tree may see its current range of southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, western Arizona, and southeastern California reduced by as much as 90 percent within a 60-to-90-year timeframe.

“We’re not saying that 90 percent of them will die,” said Ken Cole, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Flagstaff and the paper’s lead author. “The established ones may persist for 150 years. We’re saying that within 90 percent of its current range, they will be unable to reproduce or unable to survive [long-term].”

Continue reading at: http://www.onearth.org/article/global-warming-may-push-joshua-trees-out-of-namesake-national-park

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Fire and Rain

Not the James Taylor Song.

The current conditions facing two nuclear power plant in parts of the US.

Fortunately they are in conservative states so maybe the Christians can pray that no more shit hits the fan than already has.

I don’t know about you but I’d kind of rate being within a couple of hundred miles of a flooded out nuclear reactor as kind of a 9.7 on the ass pucker scale.

Maybe not quite an off the scale the way being in the vicinity of Fukushima but enough so that I might consider defaulting on the property and relocating to someplace where they have wind mills and solar panels instead.  I realize its wimpy to prefer green over the nifty macho, what could possibly go wrong je ne sais quoi that embracing nuclear power plants brings, but I’m an old hippie and other than tritium night sights I’d rather avoid things that emit more than the background level of radiation.

I’m actually not completely opposed to nuclear power plants.  Only smaller ones like they use on aircraft carriers and in really stable remote places.  Not near earthquake fault lines, or rivers that flood.  I guess we should also cross off places susceptible to tidal waves, hurricanes, tornadoes and wild fires.

Oh and it would be nice if they could recycle the waste into a closed loop system.

Otherwise use of radioactive material should be limited.

And considering the following stories perhaps we better think more about green alternative energy sources and conservation.

From The Kansas City Star:  http://www.kansascity.com/2011/06/28/2981543/nebraska-nuclear-plant-threatened.html

Nebraska nuclear plant threatened by flooding is safe, scientists group finds

By STEVE EVERLY The Kansas City Star
Tue, Jun. 28, 2011

The Union of Concerned Scientists, one of the nuclear-power industry’s toughest critics, sprang into action when the Missouri River flood threatened the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska.

But after looking into the matter, the scientists group was reassured. Precautions had been taken to deal with the floodwaters, and federal inspectors had checked over the plant on Monday.

In addition, the plant had been offline since April for refueling — not up and generating power. As a result there would be far more time to deal with an emergency if one arose, such as a loss of electric power to the plant.

The group concluded it was a far different situation from what happened in Japan in March when a tsunami hit a complex of nuclear plants, cutting off their power, critically damaging them and releasing radiation into the sea and atmosphere.

No nuclear plant is without risks, and the flooding will complicate getting the Nebraska reactor back up and running. But “basically what we found was … good news,” said David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety project for the scientists group, which is based in Washington.

Los Alamos scurries to protect nuclear lab from fire

Nuclear weapons lab closes due to fire danger

Fire has potential to double or triple in size

By Zelie Pollon
Tue Jun 28, 2011

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 28 (Reuters) – New Mexico fire managers scrambled on Tuesday to reinforce crews battling a third day against an out-of-control blaze at the edge of one of the top U.S. nuclear weapons production centers.

The fire’s leading edge burned to within a few miles of a dump site where some 20,000 barrels of plutonium-contaminated waste, including clothing and equipment, is stored at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, fire officials said.

Officials for the government-run lab said the stored waste is considered low-level radioactive material and remains a safe distance from the fire in an area cleared of trees and other vegetation.

Carl Beard, director of operations for the lab, said there has been no release of radioactive or hazardous materials into the environment and there was no immediate threat to public safety, “even in these extreme conditions.”

Continue reading at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/usa-wildfires-nuclear-idUSN1E75R1KH20110629

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