Campaign To Win Gay Marriage In Maine Secures Sufficient Signatures

From On Top Magazine:

By Carlos Santoscoy
Published: November 09, 2011

A campaign to legalize gay marriage in Maine has gathered sufficient signatures to qualify for next year’s ballot.

Equality Maine, the state’s largest gay rights group, announced on Wednesday that it had collected the signatures of more than 35,000 registered voters on Election Day. The group had earlier announced plans to gather 75,000 signatures, about 18,000 more than needed to qualify. The buffer is a hedge against invalid signatures.

The campaign said it had surpassed its goal and now had almost 100,000 signatures.

“Yesterday, as volunteers gathered signatures for marriage, folks statewide reported enthusiasm and changed minds – a volunteer in a small town kept calling to ask if she could stay longer because she was so excited how many people were singing,” the group said in an email to supporters.

“A man in a northern, rural town told us he wouldn’t have signed two years ago, and when we asked what changed his mind he said simply, ‘My daughter.’”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Campaign To Win Gay Marriage In Maine Secures Sufficient Signatures

Mississippi Rejects Bill to Grant Embryos “Personhood,” Outlaw Fertility Aid, Birth Control

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Mississippi Rejects Bill to Grant Embryos “Personhood,” Outlaw Fertility Aid, Birth Control

Stop pretending it’s not climate change

Corporations exist to enrich the all ready rich beyond all levels of reason, oligarchs.  They do not exist to serve humanity.

They lie to us at every turn in order to exploit out labor and sell us crap no matter how shoddy and even dangerous the crap is.

They have their stables of lying whore scientists, the same lying whore scientists who denied the harmful effects of tobacco busy cranking out lies about how there is no climate change, even when we can see the effects of this climate change happening before our very eyes.

Five articles:


2011 is further proof that a new era of extreme weather is dawning — and it’s about to get much, much worse

By Heidi Cullen
November 9, 2011

“All I know is this didn’t happen when we were kids.”

That’s how Brian Williams tagged a recent NBC Nightly News report on this year’s extreme weather. Floods, droughts, wildfires and tornadoes dominated the news many nights in 2011. Even this week, weather forecasters are keeping tabs on reports from coastal villages in Alaska, like Kivalina, which is under a coastal flood warning from “one of the most severe storms on record” packing hurricane-force winds while it pushes up the Northwest Alaska coast. Lack of protective Arctic sea ice – which is disappearing because of climate change – is making the surge from storms like this more dangerous. Kivalina’s very existence is threatened due to flooding and erosion fueled by climate change, and the Native Alaskan community struggles to relocate. It’s no wonder the Inuit have a word for the changing weather — “uggianaqtuq” — which roughly translates into “stranger.” As in “the weather has become a stranger.”

Continue reading at:

Environmental News Service:

Irreversible Climate Change Looms Within Five Years

LONDON, UK, November 9, 2011 (ENS) – Unless there is a “bold change of policy direction,” the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system, the International Energy Agency warned at the launch of its 2011 World Energy Outlook today in London.

The report says there is still time to act, but despite steps in the right direction the door of opportunity is closing.

The agency’s warning comes at a critical time in international climate change negotiations, as governments prepare for the annual UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, from November 28.

“If we do not have an international agreement whose effect is put in place by 2017, then the door will be closed forever,” IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol warned today.

Continue reading at:

Guardian UK:

World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns

If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will ‘lose for ever’ the chance to avoid dangerous climate change

, environment correspondent, Wednesday 9 November 2011

The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be “lost for ever”, according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.

Anything built from now on that produces carbon will do so for decades, and this “lock-in” effect will be the single factor most likely to produce irreversible climate change, the world’s foremost authority on energy economics has found. If this is not rapidly changed within the next five years, the results are likely to be disastrous.

“The door is closing,” Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. “I am very worried – if we don’t change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever.”

If the world is to stay below 2C of warming, which scientists regard as the limit of safety, then emissions must be held to no more than 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the level is currently around 390ppm. But the world’s existing infrastructure is already producing 80% of that “carbon budget”, according to the IEA’s analysis, published on Wednesday. This gives an ever-narrowing gap in which to reform the global economy on to a low-carbon footing.

Continue reading at:

Huffington Post:

Nome, Alaska Hit With Bering Sea Storm As Unusual Weather Slams State


Unusual weather has hit Nome, Alaska, slamming the state’s western region with strong winds and high seas.

According to the Associated Press, the area experienced blizzard conditions on Tuesday night, with wind gusts up to 80 mph. Meteorologist Scott Berg at the National Weather Service’s Fairbanks office told AP that they have heard reports of buildings losing roofs, and water hitting the base of buildings in Nome, Alaska.

A National Weather Service update for Nome, Alaska from 8:53 a.m (AKST) on Wednesday said that a coastal flood warning is in effect until 6 a.m. (AKST) on Thursday, and a winter storm warning is in effect until 9 p.m. (AKST) this evening.

Continue reading at:

Guardian UK:

Freak Alaska storm brings hurricane-force winds and floods

Forecasters say the unusual storm, which brought 80mph winds, is the strongest the state has seen in nearly 40 years

Associated Press, Wednesday 9 November 2011

A powerful Bering Sea storm hit western Alaska early Wednesday with high winds and surging seas.

The National Weather Service office in Fairbanks has received reports of some roofs blowing off in Nome where water reached the base of buildings.

Meteorologist Scott Berg says some homes close to ocean have been evacuated, but there are no reports of injuries. A storm surge could bring more severe flooding later Wednesday.

Blizzard conditions prevailed overnight in quite a few places with sustained winds of 60mph (96kph) and gusts to 80mph (128 kph).

Berg said big low-pressure systems hit Alaska often, but this one is different because of the track it took and because ice hasn’t formed yet to protect the shore.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Stop pretending it’s not climate change

Hartmann: Why is Fox “So-Called” News Palling around with Terrorists?

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Hartmann: Why is Fox “So-Called” News Palling around with Terrorists?

Poll: Americans favor protections for transgender people

There is s tectonic shift going on in America as people reject the hateful right wing extremist positions put forth by pseudo-Christian Dominionists.

People are tired of the rabid practices of Corporate Capitalism and the class war that has been waged by the rich upon the poor and hard working people of this country.

Many are tired of religious fanatics who call themselves Christian and use that as an excuse for the abuse of women and their rights as well as the denial of LGBT/T peoples rights.

Protecting LGBT/T people from blatant discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation is not giving a minority group some sort of special privileges no matter how the right wing tries pretend that society will suffer if pseudo-Christians and other assorted bigots are not allowed to abuse LGBT/T people and deny them the same sorts of access and respect that should be accorded all human beings.

Conservatives have always been racist and bigoted and finally they pushed it too far and people have started rejecting their ideology of bigotry along with their failed economic ideology.

An inclusive ENDA is just a start.

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, November 3, 2011

A recent survey found that approximately 9 out of 10 Americans, including strong majorities of all religious, believe that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Americans.

The survey (PDF) of more than 2,000 adults was conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in August and September.

“Three out of four Americans say Congress should pass employment nondiscrimination laws that protect transgender people,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. “This strong support is also broad, persisting across party lines and the religious spectrum.”

 There is currently no federal law that prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Seventy-four percent of Americans favor the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Only 22 percent oppose it.

Support for the legislation was lowest among Republicans, at 56 percent, and highest among Democrats, at 84 percent.

Complete article at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Poll: Americans favor protections for transgender people

Occupy protesters plan 300-mile march from NYC to Washington

From The Guardian UK:

Protesters to set off from Wall Street to meet up with other Occupy movements on the way to DC, Tuesday 8 November 2011

A group of Occupy protesters plan to march nearly 300 miles from New York to Washington DC in a bid to end tax cuts which they say benefit the richest 1% of Americans.

The group will set off from Occupy Wall Street on Wednesday and walk 20 miles a day en route to the capital, their arrival planned to coincide with the Congressional deficit reduction super-committee meeting on 23 November.

Protesters will pass through other occupations during the course of the ‘Occupy the highway’ action, which they say will encourage people in rural communities to get involved in the movement.

“One of the people that is helping organise the march has wanted to do this since the first week,” said Jason Coniglione, who was present at Occupy Wall Street’s birth on 17 September.

“But at the first week we had no idea what [the occupation] was going to turn into. As time as gone by and the park has got more crowded, we’re looking more and more to take our action outwards into other parts of the country.”

Coniglione, 24, said “10 or 12” people are due to take part in the full journey from New York to Washington DC, but marchers expect more to leave from Zuccotti Park tomorrow for the first leg and anticipate many fellow protesters will join in for certain stretches of the march.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Occupy protesters plan 300-mile march from NYC to Washington

Why the Occupy Movement is Good for Our Health

From Common Dreams:

by Julie Matthaei and Neil Wollman
Published on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 by

Recently, the Congressional Budget Office released a report on income inequality which found that the incomes of the top 1% nearly tripled between 1979 and 2007, whereas those of the middle class increased by less than forty percent. In his 2007 study, Jared Bernstein  found that the after-tax income of the top 1% was 21 times higher than that of middle income families in 2005, compared to “only” 8 times higher in 1979. Indeed, inequality has been on the increase.

The burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement, and its slogan, “We are the 99%,” is drawing critical attention to the grossly unequal distribution of income and wealth in the U.S.  Critiques include the injustice of the high incomes (and lack of incarceration) of Wall Street executives, given that their illegal actions caused the unemployment and homelessness of millions; the corrupting influence on the democratic process of the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few; and the basic indecency of the top 1% having much more than they could ever spend, while millions of Americans lack housing, health care, even food.

But there any many other serious societal problems associated with inequality which are not so obvious, and which have received little attention from the Occupy movement or the media.  According to researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, more equal societies outperformed less equal ones in fifteen key ways:

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why the Occupy Movement is Good for Our Health

Robbed blind by the 1 percent

From Socialist Worker:

Elizabeth Schulte reports.
November 8, 2011

THE OCCUPY Wall Street movement–the voice of the 99 percent–is striking a chord with anyone who sees the evidence of growing economic inequality in American society.

Well, almost everyone.

According to New York Times columnist David Brooks, the protesters are focusing on the “wrong” inequality. According to Brooks, the problem of the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent doesn’t really apply to the “red state” heartland of the U.S., where the real gap is between those with college educations and those without, he says. Pointing the finger at the very wealthy may apply to major “blue state” metropolitan areas, where the 1 percent lives, Brooks argues, but it has little to do with the inequality suffered in the rest of the country.

It’s a feeble attempt to divert the blame away from the uber-wealthy 1 percent–as if redistributing some of their wealth to the rest of population wouldn’t improve living standards everywhere. Brooks want to have us believe that the grievances of the 99 percent at Occupy Wall Street in New York City are somehow out of touch with people living in “Scranton, Des Moines, Naperville, Macon and Fresno.”

But the numbers show that the greatest economic gains over the last decade have gone not to the college-educated over those without college degrees, as Brooks claims, but to the 1 percent at the very top over everyone else. Citing a 2010 study from Center for American Progress, Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research argues:

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Robbed blind by the 1 percent

Occupy Atlanta Encamps In Neighborhood To Save Police Officer’s Home From Foreclosure

From Think Progress:

By Zaid Jilani
Nov 8, 2011

Occupy Atlanta has repeatedly run into hurdles, as it has been evicted from Woodruff Park in Atlanta multiple times by the city’s unsympathetic mayor, Kasim Reed. Yet the group was invigorated yesterday as it moved to a new location to take action for economic justice.

Last week, Tawanna Rorey’s husband, a police officer based in Gwinnett County, e-mailed Occupy Atlanta to explain that his home was going to be foreclosed on and his family was in danger of being evicted on Monday. So within a few hours Occupy Atlanta developed an action plan to move to Snellville, Georgia on Monday to stop the foreclosure. At least two dozen protesters encamped on the family’s lawn, to the applause of neighbors and bystanders:

Complete article at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Occupy Atlanta Encamps In Neighborhood To Save Police Officer’s Home From Foreclosure

Greece, home of democracy, deprived of a vote

From The Guardian UK:

Armed by Papandreou with a referendum, the Greek people had clout. Now, they’re powerless before the troika’s austerity plan
, Tuesday 8 November

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou touched off a firestorm last week when he proposed putting the austerity package designed by the “troika” (the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Union) up for a popular vote. The idea that the Greek people might directly be able to decide their future terrified leaders across Europe and around the world. Financial markets panicked, sending stocks plummeting and bond yields soaring.

However, by the end of the week, things were back under control. The leaders of France and Germany apparently laid down the law to Papandreou and he backed off plans for the referendum. While the government is in the process of collapsing in Greece, the world can now rest assured that the Greek people will not have an opportunity to vote on their future.

This is unfortunate, since it means that Greece’s future will likely be decided by politicians who may not have the interests of the Greek people foremost in their minds. By their own projections, the austerity package designed by the troika promises a decade of austerity, with high unemployment, falling real wages and sharp reductions in public services and pensions. And their projections have consistently proven to be overly optimistic.

If given the opportunity, would the Greek people endorse this sort of austerity package? The answer obviously depends on the alternative.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Greece, home of democracy, deprived of a vote

Military Tents Present Another Challenge To Bloomberg’s Authority

From In These Times:

By Allison Kilkenny
November 8, 2011

As the winter months approach, OWS protesters are preparing to face the cold weather and part of that planning involves the use of military grade tents “as big as tiny cottages.” The presence of these large structures will offer yet another challenge to Mayor Bloomberg’s authority.

Both the mayor and the NYPD have offered a sort of non-official truce to the protesters when they turned a blind eye to physical structures appearing in Liberty Plaza. In the early days of OWS, police seized any and all structures –  not just tents, but projector screens, and anything that constituted being propped up by a foreign inanimate object.

To get around this rule at the genesis of OWS, protesters physically held up the projector screen during presentations, and tied paint tarps to the park’s stairway handrail before shimmying underneath to create some kind of protection from the elements.

As the first few tents began to spring up in the park, it was perhaps more convenient for the NYPD to turn a blind eye to the emerging event. Why risk a full-blown insurrection over a couple tents? But this new (and extremely necessary) addition of military tents will be impossible for Bloomberg to ignore.

Protester Jeffrey Brewer told the Washington Post three tents have already been erected in Zuccotti and he’s helping to install four more. Twenty more tents are being ordered at a cost of about $25,000 total. Brewer says the tents were paid for through donations.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Military Tents Present Another Challenge To Bloomberg’s Authority

Christo-Fascist James Dobson: God Will Stop Blessing America If We Don’t Vote Right

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Christo-Fascist James Dobson: God Will Stop Blessing America If We Don’t Vote Right

Mississippi Voters. defeat life at conception ballot initiative

From Yahoo News:

November 8, 2011

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would’ve declared life begins at conception, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible Belt state as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide.

The so-called “personhood” initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters, falling far short of the threshold needed for it to be enacted. If it had passed, it was virtually assured of drawing legal challenges because it conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a legal right to abortion. Supporters of the initiative wanted to provoke a lawsuit to challenge the landmark ruling.

The measure divided the medical and religious communities and caused some of the most ardent abortion opponents, including Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, to waver with their support.

Opponents said the measure would have made birth control, such as the morning-after pill or the intrauterine device, illegal. More specifically, the ballot measure called for abortion to be prohibited “from the moment of fertilization” — wording that opponents suggested would have deterred physicians from performing in vitro fertilization because they would fear criminal charges if an embryo doesn’t survive.

Supporters were trying to impose their religious beliefs on others by forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies, including those caused by rape or incest, opponents said.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Mississippi Voters. defeat life at conception ballot initiative

‘Moratorium needed to stop foreclosures’

From Worker’s World:

By Kris Hamel

Published Nov 7, 2011 8:32 PM

President Barack Obama announced with fanfare on Oct. 24 that he was bypassing “an increasingly dysfunctional Congress” and issuing federal rules to offer relief for struggling homeowners who may soon be facing foreclosure. Speaking in Las Vegas, one of the cities in the United States hardest hit by the ongoing foreclosure crisis, Obama outlined a plan that would offer help to an estimated 1 million to 1.6 million homeowners. (Associated Press, Oct. 24)

According to Jerry Goldberg, an organizer with the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs, “The plan would make it easier for homeowners who are current on their mortgages but whose loans are underwater — meaning the value of the home is much less than what is owed on the mortgage loan — to refinance their loan to a lower interest rate.” The plan would affect mortgages owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but would not reduce the principal amount owed on the loans.

“A homeowner’s loan refinancing,” Goldberg told Workers World, “would still be subject to the whim of the banks, which are the servicers for the loan, in carrying it out. This program would not provide any aid to the millions who are currently behind on their mortgages, such as the 3.8 million homeowners who are facing foreclosure this year alone.”

The Moratorium NOW! Coalition, based in Detroit, issued a press release Oct. 26 demanding the president use his executive authority to truly help the millions still facing foreclosures and evictions. It stated: “If Obama is serious about addressing the foreclosure and mortgage crisis … he could issue an executive order placing a two-year moratorium on all foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions.

“Because the federal government now owns or insures 75 percent of all mortgage loans through Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and HUD [Department of Housing and Urban Development], the President has the absolute authority to implement such a moratorium. In fact, President Obama’s announcement of a modest loan refinance program through executive action confirms this.

“The mortgage crisis was created by the criminal, fraudulent actions of every major bank, as confirmed in the Senate Select Committee report issued this year. The banks continue to get bailed out with virtually every foreclosure by the government-owned Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, as well as by HUD. The banks get paid full value for their inflated loans, and then the government tosses homeowners on the streets and sells their homes for a pittance. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this silent bailout of the banks through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will cost taxpayers $389 billion.

“The people need more than a modest refinance program that will help a few who manage to get through to the banks. What is needed is for the President to take a real step to stop the foreclosure epidemic that is destroying our communities. It’s overdue for President Obama to place an immediate two-year moratorium on all foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions.”

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on ‘Moratorium needed to stop foreclosures’

War hawks anticipate war with Iran

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on War hawks anticipate war with Iran

Goldman Sachs ‘escapes paying £10million bill in sweetheart deal with the taxman

From The Daily Mail UK:

By Kirsty Walker
8th November 2011

The country’s top tax official signed off a deal which let banking giant Goldman Sachs off a £10million tax bill without consulting a single lawyer, it emerged yesterday.

Dave Hartnett was accused of being ‘cavalier’ with taxpayers money after he admitted to MPs that he had not sought legal advice before agreeing to the controversial ‘sweetheart’ deal.

Mr Hartnett has faced calls to resign after it leaked documents showed that that he had personally agreed to waive up to £10million of interest on a £30million bill from a failed tax avoidance scheme on bankers’ bonuses.

Mr Hartnett – previously described as Britain’s most ‘wined and dined’ civil servant was also grilled by MPs over his 107 breakfasts, lunches and dinners that he attended over three years with big companies and accountancy firms.

MPs on the powerful Public Administration Committee expressed fury over the ‘evasion’ of senior tax officials during a tense and bad-tempered hearing in Parliament yesterday.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Goldman Sachs ‘escapes paying £10million bill in sweetheart deal with the taxman

Honey Laundering

Good reason to purchase only certified organic honey, even if it is more expensive.

From Mother Jones:

By Tom Philpott
Mon Nov. 7, 2011

Peruse the sweetener shelf of a US supermarket, and you’ll find an array of bear-shaped jars glistening with golden honey, all of it priced to move.

Ever wonder why the ongoing collapse of US honeybee populations hasn’t caused a scarcity of honey or a spike in prices? I think the ace investigative reporter Andrew Schneider of Food Safety News might have the answer. In an August investigation, Schneider revealed:

A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. A Food Safety News investigation has documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities.

Today, Schneider is back with a new report, already highlighted by my colleague Stephanie Mencimer but worth delving into more.

Schneider rounded up more than 60 samples of honey from retailers in 10 states and the District of Columbia and had them analyzed at a Texas A&M University lab. The result: Three-quarters of the samples were “ultra-filtered”—a process in which honey is “heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey.”

That last bit is key. When you strip honey of its pollen, it becomes impossible to trace its origins. Chinese honey routinely has been found to contain additives and contaminants. To avoid scrutiny in countries like the United States, China’s honey industry has been funneling its product into other nations like India. The ultra-filtering process appears to be a honey-laundering tool, Schneider reports.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Honey Laundering