Dennis Kucinich At HEMPFEST 2011 Seattle Saturday Main Stage

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Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters tell Tea Party to go to hell

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‘Adrenaline flowing in Tripoli as rebels close in on capital’

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Silicone Pumping: DON’T DO IT: “The High Price of Looking Like a Woman”

Actually it isn’t about looking like a woman.

Women come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of different breast sizes.  Some are viewed as pretty, some are not.  Generally, pretty has a brief shelf life.

Mostly though silicone pumping isn’t about looking like a woman as much as it is about looking like the male gaze produced caricature of a woman.  A stereotype that is almost never found in the real world and when it is tends upon examination to reveal itself as an artifice, a fiction created by cosmetics, surgery and clothing.

I’ve been anti-silicone from the word go.

I’ve heard it all before.  Beauty is more important than health.  I’ve heard it for over 35 years, ever since I started warning TS/TG people about the dangers of silicone.

But I was a hippie, a feminist and a dyke, who rarely even bothered with make-up so what did I know.

But I was a “natural beauty wonder” and so I must be jealous and not want them to be beautiful too.  (Even though I was a hippie feminist dyke who didn’t much give a shit about the programmed gender indoctrination that tells me I should be jealous of other women’s clothes and beauty.)

It was crazy making shit like that that caused me to dump an awful lot of friends who were TG/TS, even while I continued my friendships with wiser sisters who were more into the same things I was.

About a dozen years later I saw the results of the silicone injections friends of mine had around 1974-1975.  They looked as though they had been beaten and maimed, with lumps, permanent bruising, and tissue necrosis that left deep sunken pits where the silicone had migrated from the injection sites to other parts of their bodies.

None of them made it to the age of fifty.

So whenever a story like this one in the New York Times crops up I ask myself, “Where are all those highly energized Transgender Inc. Activists, where are they?”  How come there is such a wall of silence when it comes to denouncing both silicone pumpers and those who enable them by getting the poison pumped into their bodies?  Why isn’t there an outcry demanding arrests, serious charges and harsh sentences for those who maim and kill by administering these injections?

From The New York Times:

Published: August 19, 2011
ZAIRA QUISPE, 42, said she knew as a child that she was a girl, though she had been born male. She picked up a photo that she kept on the windowsill above her bed and held it out as proof. It’s a picture of herself as a smiling baby, naked and with legs crossed, concealing genitals. “Look,” she said, “even then I was trying to hide it.”

Ms. Quispe, an Ecuadorean immigrant who came to New York at age 9, was determined to get the curves that would make her look more feminine. But she lacked health insurance or the money to pay for surgical procedures that would provide them; they can cost as much as $70,000. So she tried something else: she went to a so-called pumper, a person who illegally injects silicone to modify the body.


Ms. Quispe was ecstatic with the results. Photos propped up on her desk depict a glowing young woman swathed in colorful dresses to showcase her new hourglass figure. Ms. Quispe smiled at the youthful images of herself surrounded by friends.

She has paid a heavy price for her joy. In time, the silicone in her body calcified and began to migrate, causing her a seemingly endless series of hospitalizations. At the beginning of July, she was hospitalized for an infection. Her body has been left scarred and misshapen. The skin on her buttocks and legs is discolored, and a lump of hardened silicone the size of a golf ball hangs behind her left knee.


It is a dangerous, and sometimes fatal, practice. Most plastic surgeons say silicone is safest when used as enclosed implants, but pumpers use loose silicone, which can migrate and cause disfigurement or significant scarring. Because medical-grade silicone can be hard to come by without hospital connections, some pumpers even inject cooking oil or industrial-grade silicone intended for cars and airplanes, said Dr. Anita Radix, a physician at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan, which primarily serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Cutting medical-grade silicone with baby oil, Crisco or other substances makes it cheaper. Although a number of pumpers say they have been trained as nurses, most have no medical training and are not licensed to perform surgical procedures, said Dr. Paul R. Weiss, a plastic surgeon and professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. They often operate in rooms that are not sterile, increasing the risk of infection, Dr. Weiss said.

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Antibacterial Chemical Raises Safety Issues

From The New York Times:

Published: August 19, 2011

The maker of Dial Complete hand soap says that it kills more germs than any other brand. But is it safe?

That question has federal regulators, consumer advocates and soap manufacturers locked in a battle over the active ingredient in Dial Complete and many other antibacterial soaps, a chemical known as triclosan.

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of the chemical, which was created more than 40 years ago as a surgical scrub for hospitals. Triclosan is now in a range of consumer products, including soaps, kitchen cutting boards and even a best-selling toothpaste, Colgate Total. It is so prevalent that a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the chemical present in the urine of 75 percent of Americans over the age of 5.

Several studies have shown that triclosan may alter hormone regulation in laboratory animals or cause antibiotic resistance, and some consumer groups and members of Congress want it banned in antiseptic products like hand soap. The F.D.A. has already said that soap with triclosan is no more effective than washing with ordinary soap and water, a finding that manufacturers dispute.

The F.D.A. was to announce the results of its review several months ago, but now says the timing is uncertain and unlikely until next year. The Environmental Protection Agency is also looking into the safety of triclosan.

The outcome of the federal inquiries poses a significant risk to the makers of antimicrobial and antibacterial hand soaps, which represent about half of the $750 million market for liquid hand soaps in the United States, according to the market research firm Kline & Company.

Many of those soaps use triclosan as the active ingredient and say so on the label. Dial Complete is the fifth-best-selling liquid hand soap in the nation, according to data collected from most major stores (except for Wal-Mart) by SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.

Richard Theiler, senior vice president for research and development at Henkel, the German-based manufacturer of Dial Complete, said there was no real evidence showing that triclosan was dangerous for humans. He also said that several recent studies had proved the effectiveness of triclosan in killing germs, and that those studies had been submitted to the federal regulators.

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U.S. oil speculative data released by Senator Bernie Sanders, sparking ire

From Yahoo:

By Sarah N. Lynch
Friday August 19, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Oil trading data that exposed the extensive positions speculators held in the run-up to record high prices in 2008 were intentionally leaked by a U.S. senator, sparking broader concern about industry confidentiality as Congress moves on Wall Street reform.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a staunch critic of oil speculators, leaked the information to a major newspaper in a move that has unsettled both regulators and Wall Street alike.

In a June 16 e-mail reviewed by Reuters, a senior policy adviser to Sanders discusses how his office received private data with the names and positions of traders and forwarded it exclusively to a Wall Street Journal reporter.

The e-mail, which also attaches two files with the data, was sent to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum asking him to review it and speak with the newspaper about his observations.

In a statement from Sanders provided to Reuters, Sanders said he felt the data needed to be publicly aired.

“The CFTC has kept this information hidden from the American public for nearly three years,” he said. “This is an outrage. The American people have a right to know exactly who caused gas prices to skyrocket in 2008 and who is causing them to spike today.”

The leaked information has sparked concern at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is legally prohibited from releasing confidential information that identifies trader positions and identities.

The leak also raises broader questions as U.S. regulators gear up to collect massive new amounts of private data from market players on everything from swaps and hedge funds to blueprints for how large financial firms can be liquidated. The breach of data could make Wall Street less reluctant to hand over sensitive information if they fear it is not appropriately safeguarded.

“This type of incident will have a chilling effect on derivatives trading in the U.S. because market participants will be reluctant to take the risk that their positions will be exposed to the public-and their competitors,” John Damgard, president of the Futures Industry Association, said in a statement sent to Reuters.

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Verizon Strike: Workers Protest At CEO’s Home

From Huffington Post:

By Josh Lederman

MENDHAM, N.J. — Hundreds of striking Verizon workers held a candlelight vigil outside their CEO’s mansion Thursday, hoping to draw a stark contrast between the contract demands of blue-collar workers and the quality of life enjoyed by the company’s executives.

Wearing red shirts, singing union songs and chanting “What’s disgusting? Union busting,” union members lit candles outside Lowell McAdam’s home as the sun set on Mendham.

“It makes me sick that Americans have to come out and do this,” said Joe Mastrogiovanni, a 29-year-old cable repairman from Piscataway. “We’re not asking for more; we’re asking to keep what we have.”

About 45,000 Verizon landline workers from Massachusetts to Virginia have been striking since Aug. 7, fighting management demands for contract givebacks. About 7,000 of those workers are in New Jersey, and some of them were bused Thursday to the wealthy, suburban town where their top executive owns a home, intending to underscore that their benefits should not be cut while the company takes in billions in revenue.

At issue is Verizon’s declining landline business in an era of mobile phones. The New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. says it wants to change benefits that date from a time when the telecommunications marketplace was less competitive and landlines were ubiquitous.

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have been fighting Verizon’s call for a pension freeze and for contributions to health insurance premiums, among other things. The company has obtained court injunctions limiting picketing in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, but Verizon has said that hundreds of acts of sabotage have been carried out since the strike began.

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Families ‘will be priced out of social housing by plans for higher rents’

From The Guardian UK:

Proposed rent rises will be unaffordable across much of urban England, not just London, study warns

The Observer, Sunday 21 August 2011

Larger families claiming benefits, many with members in work, will be unable to afford increased rents on social housing across swaths of urban England, according to research. Rents will rise to as much as 80% of those in the private sector.

The government wants the cash to be used to build affordable homes, to make up for a significant reduction in grants. But with private sector rents in England having risen to 58% of the gross weekly wage of the lowest paid, and to 72% in the case of London, there are fears many on benefits will be unable to afford the impending increases.

It has been feared that the move would hit families with three or more children living in London. But the research, by Cambridge University academics, indicates that the new market-pegged social rents will be unaffordable for families with three or more children in many parts of the country. The investigations, by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, suggests a couple with three or more children would breach the maximum £26,000 benefit cap in four out of the five local authority areas it examined.

The four authorities were: Brighton and Hove, East Sussex; Bromley, Greater London; Hertsmere, Hertfordshire; and Mid Sussex, all areas that are home to large numbers of families in affordable housing. A couple with three children in Hertsmere would face a shortfall of £56 a week if 80% market rents were charged, while in Brighton and Hove the shortfall would be £34.

The only place in the study where 80% rents could be sustained by a larger family dependent on benefits, without incurring additional hardship, was Plymouth.

“We don’t believe that increasing rents to 80% of market levels across the board is appropriate,” said Keith Exford, chief executive of Affinity Sutton, one of the country’s largest social housing providers, which commissioned the research. “It could cause acute financial and affordability problems for new residents and this research demonstrates it will not work for larger families.”

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Corporations decide what Americans see on TV

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We’ve been warned: the system is ready to blow

From The Guardian UK:

Only a new way of managing the global economy can prevent more mayhem in the markets and on the streets, Sunday 14 August 2011

For the past two centuries and more, life in Britain has been governed by a simple concept: tomorrow will be better than today. Black August has given us a glimpse of a dystopia, one in which the financial markets buckle and the cities burn. Like Scrooge, we have been shown what might be to come unless we change our ways.

There were glimmers of hope amid last week’s despair. Neighbourhoods rallied round in the face of the looting. The Muslim community in Birmingham showed incredible dignity after three young men were mown down by a car and killed during the riots. It was chastening to see consumerism laid bare. We have seen the future and we know it sucks. All of which is cause for cautious optimism – provided the right lessons are drawn.

Lesson number one is that the financial and social causes are linked. Lesson number two is that what links the City banker and the looter is the lack of restraint, the absence of boundaries to bad behaviour. Lesson number three is that we ignore this at our peril.

To understand the mess we are in, it’s important to know how we got here. Today marks the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s announcement that America was suspending the convertibility of the dollar into gold at $35 an ounce. Speculative attacks on the dollar had begun in the late 1960s as concerns mounted over America’s rising trade deficit and the cost of the Vietnam war. Other countries were increasingly reluctant to take dollars in payment and demanded gold instead. Nixon called time on the Bretton Woods system of fixed but adjustable exchange rates, under which countries could use capital controls in order to stimulate their economies without fear of a run on their currency. It was also an era in which protectionist measures were used quite liberally: Nixon announced on 15 August 1971 that he was imposing a 10% tax on all imports into the US.

Four decades on, it is hard not to feel nostalgia for the Bretton Woods system. Imperfect though it was, it acted as an anchor for the global economy for more than a quarter of a century, and allowed individual countries to pursue full employment policies. It was a period devoid of systemic financial crises.

Utter mess

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