Romney: Cut health care for the poor, not defense spending

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/11/21/romney-cut-health-care-for-the-poor-not-defense-spending/

By David Edwards
Monday, November 21, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday suggested using drastic cuts to health care for the poorest Americans to fund the Department of Defense.

Speaking to employees of BAE Systems, one of the nation’s largest defense contractors, the candidate said that President Barack Obama and members of the “super committee” should agree to scale back the Medicaid program in order to prevent $600 billion in cuts to defense spending over ten years.

“A doomsday scenario for our military is not the right course, given where the world is headed,” Romney remarked. “I would call on the president — and do call on the president — to immediately introduce legislation which says we will not have a $600 billion cut to America’s military. We should not cut any funding from our base Department of Defense budget. That should not occur.”

 “And I would apply the $600 billion [in cuts] that were anticipated being imposed upon the military, I would take those and apply them to other parts of the federal budget,” he continued. “And there are a number of candidates for that. One of them, of course, would be to take something like Medicaid, which is our health care program for the poor, and return that program to the states.”
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McDonald’s, Target drop egg supplier after animal cruelty report

From CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/19/business/sparboe-farms-animal-cruelty/index.html

By Dana Ford, CNN
November 19, 2011

(CNN) — McDonald’s and Target dropped an egg supplier this week after an activist group released disturbing video showing what it says shows animal cruelty at three of the company’s barns.

The undercover video, released by Mercy for Animals, was allegedly shot between May and August at facilities run by Sparboe Farms in Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota. It shows hens crammed in crowded cages, workers burning beaks and one, trying to shove a bird inside the pocket of a co-worker, apparently for fun. Another worker presses his thumb against the back of a chick’s neck until it breaks.

“Regarding the undercover videos, the behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable. McDonald’s wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers. We take this responsibility — along with our customers’ trust — very seriously. It’s important to note that the most alarming actions on video did not occur at Sparboe’s Vincent, Iowa, facility that supplies McDonald’s. Nonetheless, our extremely high standards for our suppliers prohibit this conduct,” McDonald’s said in a statement, announcing its decision to cut ties with Sparboe Farms.

Target similarly said it was dropping Sparboe Farms, which describes itself as the fifth-largest shell egg producer and marketer in the United States.

The Minnesota-based egg supplier said it first heard about the abuse allegations from ABC News, which conducted an investigation of the company.

Continue reading at:  http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/19/business/sparboe-farms-animal-cruelty/index.html

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Hartmann: Aren’t we ALL the press?

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OWS: To Change the Country, We Just Might Have to Change Ourselves

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/story/153165/ows%3A_to_change_the_country%2C_we_just_might_have_to_change_ourselves_/

If we are going to contribute to this huge fight against unbridled global capitalism, we must accept the anxiety and uncertainty of doing things differently.

By Don Hazen
November 21, 2011

The emergence of what we know as Occupy Wall Street, or the 99 Percent Movement, has taken nearly everyone by surprise, producing a transformation of public consciousness. There is little doubt that something striking has taken place, far from our normal range of expectations. As a result, many thousands of progressives, excited that the logjam in American politics has been psychologically broken up, are still wondering exactly what has happened and why. Suddenly the style and conventional wisdom of traditional progressive models for social change have been pushed aside in favor of “horizontalism,” general assemblies, culture jamming, and many other unconventional ways of doing politics.

The Antecedents of OWS

The DNA strands of some of these alternative approaches can be traced to Europe’s Situationist International movement of the ’50s and ’60s, which combined radical politics with avant-garde art, and helped lead to a general strike in France in 1968. There are echoes, too, of American progressive movements that rose in response to the inequality, corporate excesses and corruption of the Gilded Age and the Roaring ’20s. There are also reverberations from early in the labor movement of the large-scale industrial strikes of the 1930s, and also of the civil rights movement, and the women’s movement’s model of consciousness raising. Powerful acknowledgement must be given to the Arab Spring, for igniting the world’s imagination. In Egypt, power that seemed incontestable was contested; protesters didn’t have the answers beyond the end of Mubarak — still they came and stayed.

Strong antecedents can also be found in the student-led antiwar movement of the late 1960s, which was also a fight against the dehumanizing effects of corporate power. Then, many young men faced being drafted to fight in a destructive and despised war. These young people and their families pushed back, saying, “Hell no, we won’t go!” Many of today’s millennials are also fighting back against circumstances that affect them directly. Student debt is more than $1 trillion, while unemployment for young people is at Depression-era levels. Declaring bankruptcy does not erase student loans; those crushing debts will follow them forever. Many of these young adults see their futures at stake. Not surprisingly, they want a solution — either the jobs that would enable them to pay off their loans, or forgiveness of debt incurred under false pretenses.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/153165/ows%3A_to_change_the_country%2C_we_just_might_have_to_change_ourselves_/

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Police attack Occupy CUNY students

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The Negative Impact of Transsexual and Transgender Pornography and Porn Stars

I get a number of News Feeds for Transsexual and Transgender news.  Many are pre-filtered by TS/TG sisters before they are sent out and contain news stories and blog posts.  Those particular news feeds rarely if ever include news about TS/TG porn or porn stars.

But I also get the Google News Feed.

I’ve watched the porn industry become ever meaner and nastier over the years, not that its material was ever exactly up lifting or really even sex positive.

Over the last few months starting with the release of Israel Luna’s “Ticked off Trannies with Knives” I’ve watched TS/TG folks rebel against being labeled “Trannies”.  I won’t even try to defend the term, which actually grew out of the bar scene and was an inclusive term years before the coining of Transgender as umbrella.

We shouldn’t have waited as long to complain about the term.  Folks should have started complaining about the time Christian Siriano started his tired “Hot trannie mess” crap.

How come we treat the Porn industry which has taken to requiring performers engage in unprotected sex as some sort of sacred cow when they peddle “Trannie Porn” using the offending label?

“She-Male” is another grossly offensive term.

Generally speaking reputable and responsible bloggers will shut down commenters who insist on using that term as a descriptor of either transsexual (pre or post) and transgender women. On my blog that is a term that you had better use with care and not apply to an individual or class of people with out some serious qualifying or I will throw you on moderation.

Yet it is plastered all over the world of not only pornography but is used in  the sex ads that appear in the backs of the freebee newspapers.

That sort pornography degrades us, objectifies us and turns us into sub-human garbage.

All pornography dehumanizes those who appear in it.  I separate eroticism from pornography by how it places sex within the context of the lives of human beings.  Pornography divorces sexuality from the context of full lives of complete human beings.

Indeed it is a rare day that one of those news piece from the Google feed doesn’t include an item including either “she-male” or “trannie”

One doesn’t have to be a religious fanatic or radical feminist to see this as having a negative impact.

“Chicks with Dicks”… Ever wonder where that not terribly amusing trope came from?

Again we can thank the wonderful world of TS/TG Porn and TS/TG porn stars.

Yes I know the porn corporations exploit the porn workers, underpaying them for their degradation while making billions off of the filthy product they produce.  Yet there comes a time when people have to say, “Enough.”

There comes a time, when the people who participate in the making of a product that so damages the public image of transsexual and transgender people have to be called upon to cease their participation in the churning out of that product of oppression.

It is time to ask our TS/TG sisters who work in the Porno Industrial Complex to cease doing so..

“Trannie Porn” is a tool of oppression that objectifies and degrades not only those involved in its production but all transsexual and transgender women.

It reduces the public image of all of us to hyper-sexualized plastic  fantastic sex toys with huge tits and huge hot hard dicks.

It is every bit as viciously negative an image of TS/TG women as the oft circulated radfem/religious right image of us as sexual predators prowling the bathroom.

The idea that TS/TG women are pornographic sex toys helps create the image of our being worthless scum, which in turn contributes to the violence perpetrated upon so many of the people we wind up memorializing each year.

Yes, I think pornography degrades all women and I include TS/TG women in that context.

No I am not channeling Andrea Dworkin or Catherine MacKinnon.

Yes the damage has been done and it is probably too late to undo it.

I also recognize how there is a complex relationship of money, poverty, dubious fame and the creation of an idealized image of hyper-sexuality that is instilled in even very young girls.

I don’t have the answers and I’m only pointing out that if we are going to banish these degrading terms and images from our language perhaps we need to start with the industry which uses them as it stock and trade and which is responsible for much of the degrading image of us.

 

Confusing Sex and Rape

Many people seem unconformable with the idea that men rape male people just as they rape female people.  There is a tendency to blame the person who is penetrated by the penis of the rapist rather than the rapist who is often seen as exercising male prerogative and after all the victim must have done something to arouse his uncontrollable lust….

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/confusing-sex-and-rape.html?_r=2

By Published: November 19, 2011

AS the Jerry Sandusky caseat Penn State University shows, reporting on allegations of sex crimes poses a challenge not only to get the story right but to deliver it in language that puts the facts in the proper light.

Some readers, responding to The New York Times’s first reports on the case, strongly objected to wording in the articles that, in their view, either underplayed the details or wrongly applied the language of consensual sex to the narrative.

The objections focused on the most severe of the accusations against Mr. Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant coach. According to the grand jury report, he subjected a boy estimated to be 10 years old to “anal intercourse” in locker room showers at the university in 2002.

Jennifer Crichton, a reader from Manhattan, said The Times’s initial article on Nov. 5 missed the mark when it described the testimony of a Penn State graduate assistant about the incident. As The Times put it, he told the grand jury that he saw Mr. Sandusky “sexually assaulting a boy in the shower.”

“Why is this described as ‘sexual assault’ and not as ‘rape’ ”? Ms. Crichton wrote.

“My question for The Times,” wrote Frederick Lazare of Houston, “is why did it not immediately tell its readers that the student assistant saw Jerry Sandusky raping a child. That was in the grand jury report.”

Lilith Fowler, a reader from Milwaukee, objected to a Nov. 9 Times account in which the graduate assistant was said to have testified to the grand jury that “he saw Mr. Sandusky having anal sex with the boy.”

“The boy, age 10 or 11, has no ability to consent,” Ms. Fowler wrote, “so this is not anal sex, it is a rape, and The Times should call it that.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/confusing-sex-and-rape.html?_r=2

Penn State Teaches Rape Culture 101

From Ms Blog:  http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/11/17/penn-state-teaches-rape-culture-101/

by
November 17, 2011

A man sexually assaults children. Witnesses are appalled. But no one tells anyone outside their tight circle. The assailant is eventually accused of attacking eight boys. Yet members of the community rally around the perpetrator and those who protected him.

I’m talking, of course, of community support for Penn State’s coaching staff, particularly head football coach Joe Paterno, who was fired for protecting defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who now stands accused of 40 counts of sexual abuse.

Shockingly, it’s not especially unusual for communities to rally around perpetrators over victims.

At least when the perps are powerful.

And that all reflects what’s typical of rape culture.

In 2008 a 16-year-old high school cheerleader in a small Texas town said she was raped at a post-game party by Rakheem Bolton, a member of the basketball team. He and two friends forced her into a room to commit the assault. When others tried to get into the room the men fled. Bolton left clothing behind and threatened the homeowner when he refused to return them. Bolton eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge.

School officials responded by asking the cheerleader to avoid the school cafeteria and homecoming activities. And then they kicked her off the cheerleading squad for refusing to root for her rapist. She sued the district attorney, the school district and the principal, but an appeals court ruled against her.

In the summer of 2004 three varsity members of the Mepham High School football team were sexually abused at training camp. The young men were sodomized with pine cones, broom handles and golf balls which had all been coated with a mineral ice that causes severe pain.

Many of the witnesses felt terrible about what had happened. Yet they kept silent.

Continue reading at:  http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/11/17/penn-state-teaches-rape-culture-101/

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