Do What’s Right

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Alice Dreger: UTNE Visionary 2011

I’m not a fan of Alice Reger.  What she has done regarding transsexuals is unconscionable>  She hangs out with some incredibly nasty people who make psychiatry look like quackery.

Yet here she is saying something I realized based on simple common sense coupled with hearing the reason a number of incredibly ignorant of the male anatomy people thought was the reason they must have been born with a vagina and reassigned male via surgery shortly after birth.

Leaving aside all those who had fathered children and that every male has a line down the center of his scrotum, between his balls, because that how male fetuses develop.

The one thing that made me skeptical about the vast majority of intersex claims by people who had been raised as male was this.  “It is much harder to make a pole than a hole.” Especially a functioning penis that looks like a penis.

Most intersex surgeries involved cutting down.  Making girl and cutting down enlarged clits.

From Utne Reader:

by Danielle Magnuson
November-December 2011

Alice Dreger has made it her life’s work to investigate, and at times expose, the unethical medical treatment of people who have intersex conditions. “I either get love mail or hate mail,” explains the Northwestern University bioethicist and medical historian. The hate mail comes from people whose bad deeds she reveals, the love mail from people thanking her for “saving their lives.”

About 1 baby in 2,000 is born with ambiguous genitalia: The phallus could be considered either a micropenis or an overlarge clitoris. Many more are born with subtler disorders of sex development, such as a slightly-larger-than-standard clitoris. Yet other sex anomalies don’t become apparent until adolescence, as in the case of a girl who never menstruates because she has undescended testes rather than ovaries. As recently as 15 years ago, children were routinely subjected to cosmetic genital surgery and hormone treatments in medical practices shrouded in secrecy. “They were sex-reassigning boys with small penises to be girls,” says Dreger. “They were cutting down clitorises willy-nilly. And they were not always telling families what they did and didn’t know.”

Banks Shut Down: Occupy Oakland w/ Cenk

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Noam Chomsky Addresses Occupy Boston Protesters

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Bill Moyers: “Our Politicians Are Money Launderers in the Trafficking of Power and Policy”

From Truth Out:

by: Bill Moyers
Thursday 3 November 2011

I am honored to share this occasion with you.   No one beyond your collegial inner circle appreciates more than I do what you have stood for over these 40 years, or is more aware of the battles you have fought, the victories you have won, and the passion for democracy that still courses through your veins.  The great progressive of a century ago, Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin – a Republican, by the way – believed that “Democracy is a life; and involves constant struggle.”  Democracy has been your life for four decades now, and would have been even more imperiled today if you had not stayed the course.

I began my public journalism the same year you began your public advocacy, in 1971. Our paths often paralleled and sometimes crossed. Over these 40 years  journalism for me has been a continuing course in adult education, and I came early on to consider the work you do as part of the curriculum – an open seminar on how government works – and for whom.   Your muckraking investigations – into money and politics, corporate behavior, lobbying, regulatory oversight, public health and safety, openness in government, and consumer protection, among others – are models of accuracy and integrity. They drive home to journalists that while it is important to cover the news, it is more important to uncover the news.  As one of my mentors said, “News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity.”  And when a student asked the journalist and historian Richard Reeves for his definition of “real news”, he answered: “The news you and I need to keep our freedoms.”  You keep reminding us how crucial that news is to democracy.  And when the watchdogs of the press have fallen silent, your vigilant growls have told us something’s up.

So I’m here as both citizen and journalist to thank you for all you have done, to salute you for keeping the faith, and to implore you to fight on during the crisis of hope that now grips our country.  The great American experience in creating a different future together – this “voluntary union for the common good” – has been flummoxed by a growing sense of political impotence  – what the historian Lawrence Goodwyn has described as a mass resignation of people who believe “the dogma of democracy” on a superficial public level but who no longer believe it privately. There has been, he says, a decline in what people think they have a political right to aspire to – a decline of individual self-respect on the part of millions of Americans.

You can understand why.  We hold elections, knowing they are unlikely to produce the policies favored by the majority of Americans.  We speak, we write, we advocate – and those in power turn deaf ears and blind eyes to our deepest aspirations.  We petition, plead, and even pray – yet the earth that is our commons, which should be passed on in good condition to coming generations, continues to be despoiled.  We invoke the strain in our national DNA that attests to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the produce of political equality – yet private wealth multiplies as public goods are beggared.  And the property qualifications for federal office that the framers of the Constitution expressly feared as an unseemly “veneration for wealth” are now openly in force; the common denominator of public office, even for our judges, is a common deference to cash.

Continue reading at:

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Anti-gay Bigot “Porno” Pete Labarbera says opponents are part of “Satan’s plan”

Because I’m not in England, where they have questionable freedom of speech rights I am taking the liberty of editing the following text from Pink News.

Further anyone who babbles on about “Satan” is a fucking evil moron.

From Pink News:

3 November 2011

Peter LaBarbera, the founder of anti-gay campaign  Neo-Nazi hate group Americans for Truth Bigoted Lies and Propaganda, claimed this week that the people who say he fosters a “climate of hate”  fight for their Constitutionally mandated equality are part of “Satan’s plan”.

In the interview, given to Linda Harvey, he also claimed the media was “in the tank” with the “homosexual lobby” LGBT/T patriots and as such was not prepared to defend his freedoms  bigotry and filthy lies.

LaBarbera described his detractors as homo-fascists and homo-communists LGBT/T patriots. By criticising him, he argued, they fostered the same sort of hate they were criticising him for promoting.

LaBarbera’s group Americans for Truth Bigoted Lies and Propaganda is “dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist LGBT/T Patriot agenda”. His views bigoted lies and propaganda have courted controversy for a number of years.

Sally Kern drew criticism recently in an interview with Barbera in which she said gays were more dangerous than terrorists   Thoroughly insane ultra right wing kook, Sally Kern, said in an interview that when she isn’t chasing squirrels she loves traveling on UFOs.

LaBarbera also leapt to the defence of Michele Bachmann’s husband’s “gay cure clinic”. In 2007 he had (allegedly) said: “homosexuality is not a civil right; it is a human wrong I really want to suck a big cock but it will blow my high paying position as a professional whore  bigot if I get caught on my knees in a restroom– one that is redeemable as proven by thousands of contented un-happy and troubled former homosexuals and ex-lesbians.”

A transcript of the interview is below:

LaBarbera: The homo-fascism Freedom and equality are on the rise, and let’s just call it for what it is, or if you want to call it homo-communism human rights, because why should the fascists get all the bad—the communists also wanted to shut down speech and did so. What’s happening is they’re ratcheting up what constitutes so-called hate, what is acceptable speech, and because the media is in the tank with the homosexual lobby LGBT/T patriots and will not defend our freedoms, Linda, Christians’ religious freedom Fascism, then essentially they’ve, basically, given a get out of jail free card the same rights straights take for granted  to the homosexual activistsLGBT/T patriots. They can do anything they want and it seems like there’s very little critical, media attention which would restrain them.

Go to Pink News for the original and far more post moderned version that requires sub-textual readings:

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Study: Vermont’s Universal Health System Will Significantly Slow Health Care Spending

From FireDogLake:

By: Jon Walker
Wednesday November 2, 2011

The implementation of the new universal health care law adopted by Vermont earlier this year will result in system wide health care savings there of between 5.5 percent and 18.3 percent in the year 2020, according to a new report (PDF) by the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. Vermont’s new health care system will be modeled on a single payer system.

From the report’s executive summary:

The analysis indicates that without reform, Vermont health care spending will more than double from 2009 to 2019, from $4.7 billion to $10 billion. Our estimates, based on national trends, indicate that average growth in Vermont will be about 7% a year. However, we conclude that it is possible to reduce this rate of growth through a wide range of policy initiatives. The actual savings will be determined by decisions yet to be made by the Green Mountain Care Board, the Executive Branch, and the General Assembly, as well as the impact of national initiatives and policy changes, including the amount of federal financial support that we can anticipate.

Savings will be dependent upon the types and scope of cost-containment measures that are implemented, such as regulation, payment reform, or delivery system changes. System-wide savings that result from reductions in provider costs (e.g., simplified administration) will also be affected by the mechanism by which those cost reductions are passed on to payers.

If action is taken in each area of potential savings discussed in this report, savings will begin in 2014 and rise rapidly for the next several years. In 2020, savings are estimated to range from $553 million (5.5%) to $1.8 billion (18.3% of total spending). The table below shows estimated low- and high-range savings in each category discussed in this report.

In order to achieve these savings, substantial investments will be needed. While total investments, including projects already under way, could be higher, in this report, we estimate the portion of those investments attributable to Act 48 to be from $50 to $150 million.

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