California Shark Fin Ban One Step Closer To Law

From Care2: http://www.care2.com/causes/california-shark-fin-ban-one-step-closer-to-law.html

by August 30, 2011

A bill that would make it illegal to sell, trade, or posses shark fins in California passed the State’s Senate Appropriations Committee today on a 5-2 vote. The bill, officially known as AB 376, will now move to the Senate floor, where a vote is expected within the next few weeks.

During the finning process, the fins and tails are cut from living sharks, and the remainder of the fish, which is often still alive, is thrown back into the ocean.

Most of the demand for shark fins comes from Asian countries where it is used to make a gelatinous soup that often sells for more than $80 a bowl. The Associated Press reports that at a large specialty market in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, dried triangular fins are selling for $299 to $699 a pound.

Proposed by Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), who is himself of Chinese descent, the bill has been at the center of divisive controversy among California’s Chinese-American community.

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Capitalism Is The Crisis (Full Movie)

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RAN Founder Randy Hayes On Why He Was Arrested At The White House Today

From The RainForest Action Network: http://understory.ran.org/2011/08/30/ran-founder-randy-hayes-on-why-he-was-arrested-at-the-white-house-today/

August 30, 2011

This post is by Randy Hayes, a founder and board member of RAN.

Today Rainforest Action Network Board member Jodie Evans, actress and nature lover Darryl Hannah, myself, and more than 70 others blockaded the sidewalk outside the US President’s house.

Why?

We were joining a two-week long protest where more than 500 people have been arrested calling on the president to deny the permitting of Keystone XL, a 1700-mile proposed tar sands pipeline. Burning the greasy Canadian tar sands will further stress the cathedral-like rainforests of the world and cause more rainforest loss. Added deforestation will contribute more carbon to the atmosphere, leading to further climate disruption and yet more deforestation. It is a vicious cycle that is broken by simply saying no to the ugly pipeline from Canada.

Today’s non-violent arrestees joined the hundreds that have already been arrested in Washington, D.C. We’re saying no to this madness and calling on the U.S. President to say no to this ill-conceived pipeline.

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Puritan Pundits Should Chill Out — Here Are 5 Reasons I’m Happy I’ve Had Lots of Casual Sex

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/sex/152199/puritan_pundits_should_chill_out_–_here_are_5_reasons_i%27m_happy_i%27ve_had_lots_of_casual_sex/

Things don’t have to be permanent to be valuable. A fleeting moment can have as much value as a stone monument.

By Greta Christina
August 28, 2011

The phenomenon of women who have sex for its own sake seems to baffle many people. It’s widely believed that women have sex for love, commitment, poor self-control, to manipulate men, to please men, to make babies, to sooth their low self-esteem, and just about any reason at all other than their own pleasure. (While men, of course, are rutting horndogs who just want to stick it in the nearest wet hole available.) Sex, according to this trope, is by its nature a commodity that women possess and men are trying to obtain… and the phenomenon of women who are “giving it away,” who are defying these assumptions and treating sex as a pleasurable interaction between equals, is making the media piss all over themselves.

Mark Regnerus, Slate: “If women were more fully in charge of how their relationships transpired, we’d be seeing, on average, more impressive wooing efforts, longer relationships, fewer premarital sexual partners, shorter cohabitations, and more marrying going on.”

Rachel Simmons, relationship advice columnist for Teen Vogue: “These letters worry me. They signify a growing trend in girls’ sexual lives where they are giving themselves to guys on guys’ terms. They hook up first and ask later. ”

Bill O’Reilly: “Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex.”

Susan Walsh, Hooking Up Smart: “They cannot see that as she [self-proclaimed proud-and-happy slut Jaclyn Friedman] proclaims her detachment from sex, she gets emotionally wounded every single time. They take heart from her proclamation that sluthood is a healing thing. Ms. Friedman is a hot mess. Craiglist Casual Encounters was not a miracle, it was a disaster that broke her heart again. I hope she does find Love, the whole enchilada.”

Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both… oh, just look at the title.

Then there’s the piece that got me staying up until four in the morning writing about this in the first place: Christian author Don Miller, who recently asked his female readers (and his male ones, in a separate post) if they’ve ever had casual sex, and if so, why. Miller doesn’t ask this in a neutral way, a way that expresses a genuine desire for an honest answer. He asks in a way that makes it obvious what he thinks the answer will be — whatever the reason is, it must be bad, bad, bad. In fact, he’s asking in a way that totally slants the answers he’s likely to get. He’s asking “why some girls give up sex easily” (as if sex for women is always a surrender) and “do you use sex for some kind of social power or to make yourself feel good?”

It’s like a push-poll — a political poll designed to elicit a particular response, so you can shape people’s opinions and make your position seem more popular than it really is.

And this push-poll tendency is shared by many of those who ask, “Why on earth would women want casual hookups?” They’re not asking, “Why do some women have casual sex?” They’re asking, “Why on earth would some women have casual sex, when it’s so clearly a bad idea that will do them and other women harm and is obviously not in their best interest?” And they’re doing this despite research showing that casual sex isn’t, in fact psychologically harmful for young adults. They’re basing their questions on the common assumption that women’s natural state is to keep their legs closed unless they’ve got their hands on marriage or commitment… and that women who don’t are some sort of baffling phenomenon that needs to be explained.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/sex/152199/puritan_pundits_should_chill_out_–_here_are_5_reasons_i%27m_happy_i%27ve_had_lots_of_casual_sex/

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Are Virginia’s New Abortion Rules the Worst Yet?

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/08/are-virginas-new-abortion-regs-worst-yet

By Kate Sheppard
Tue Aug. 30, 2011

On Friday evening, Virginia’s Department of Health issued a strict new set of rules for abortion clinics—and women’s health advocates fear that facilities that can’t comply could be shuttered.

The regulations require Virginia’s 22 clinics to meet strict new physical standards; pre-op rooms, for example, must measure at least 80 square feet, and operating rooms must measure 250 square feet. Hallways must be at least five feet wide. The requirements are based on the state’s 2010 guidelines for new outpatient surgical facilities.

Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told Mother Jones on Monday that the new rules may actually be the most strict regulations in the United States. “It would be challenging for the majority of our facilities to continue offering first-trimester care,” Keene said. “These are designed to really cease first-trimester abortion services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The president of Washington, D.C.’s Planned Parenthood chapter has already told the Washington Post that she doesn’t believe that a clinic in Falls Church, Virginia, will be able to meet all of those requirements. Keene said that many other clinics in the state won’t be able to meet them, either—which she thinks is exactly the reason the Department of Health wrote them that way. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is an attack on Roe,” said Keene. “You can ban abortion by making it inaccessible.”

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/08/are-virginas-new-abortion-regs-worst-yet

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Justice Ginsburg: If I Were Nominated Today, My Women’s Rights Work For The ACLU Would Probably Disqualify Me

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/08/30/307623/ginsburg-womens-rights-work-disqualifies/

By Ian Millhiser
Aug 30, 2011

In a speech yesterday at Southern Methodist University law school, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered a grim assessment of the judicial confirmations process. If she were nominated to the Supreme Court today, her background as a civil rights attorney would likely prevent her from being confirmed:

Ginsburg said that to practice for her Senate confirmation hearings, White House staffers in mock hearings grilled her on her work for the ACLU. During those mock hearings she told them: “There’s nothing you can do to get me to bad mouth the ACLU.”

Such grilling, though, did not happen, she said. She was confirmed 96-3.

“Today, my ACLU connection would probably disqualify me,” she said.

Complete article at:  ttp://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/08/30/307623/ginsburg-womens-rights-work-disqualifies/

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Republicans Against Science

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/opinion/republicans-against-science.html?_r=2

By
Published: August 28, 2011

Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.

To see what Mr. Huntsman means, consider recent statements by the two men who actually are serious contenders for the G.O.P. nomination: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, recently made headlines by dismissing evolution as “just a theory,” one that has “got some gaps in it” — an observation that will come as news to the vast majority of biologists. But what really got peoples’ attention was what he said about climate change: “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.”

That’s a remarkable statement — or maybe the right adjective is “vile.”

The second part of Mr. Perry’s statement is, as it happens, just false: the scientific consensus about man-made global warming — which includes 97 percent to 98 percent of researchers in the field, according to the National Academy of Sciences — is getting stronger, not weaker, as the evidence for climate change just keeps mounting.

In fact, if you follow climate science at all you know that the main development over the past few years has been growing concern that projections of future climate are underestimating the likely amount of warming. Warnings that we may face civilization-threatening temperature change by the end of the century, once considered outlandish, are now coming out of mainstream research groups.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/opinion/republicans-against-science.html?_r=2

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