8 True Stories: How Real Families Handle Trans Children

From The Advocate: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2012/04/02/8_True_Stories_How_Real_Families_Handle_Trans_Children/

By Lucas Grindley
April 2, 2012

The question of what to do when your child is transgender becomes real for eight families followed by In the Life in its April episode.

In the Life tells the powerful stories of eight different families with transgender and gender-nonconforming children in its latest episode, which debuted Sunday and airs throughout April on public television.

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Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Offense

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/us/justices-approve-strip-searches-for-any-offense.html

Published: April 2, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs, but also public health and information about gang affiliations.

“Every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed,” Justice Kennedy wrote, adding that about 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails.

The procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states and are at odds with the policies of federal authorities. According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures.

The federal appeals courts had been split on the question, though most of them prohibited strip-searches unless they were based on a reasonable suspicion that contraband was present. The Supreme Court did not say that strip-searches of every new arrestee were required; it ruled, rather, that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches did not forbid them.

Daron Hall, the president of the American Correctional Association and sheriff of Davidson County, Tenn., said the association welcomed the flexibility offered by the decision. The association’s current standards discourage blanket strip-search policies.

Continue reading at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/us/justices-approve-strip-searches-for-any-offense.html

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Eurozone recession fears raised by jobs and industry data

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/apr/02/manufacturing-data-uk-europe

Unemployment in the eurozone soared to its highest level since 1997, with more than 17 million people out of work in Februar

and Phillip Inman
, Monday 2 April 2012

The human cost of the eurozone’s prolonged debt crisis was laid bare on Monday as data showed unemployment had soared and manufacturing slumped, indicating the region has sunk back into recession.

The figures showed that more than 17 million people in the eurozone were out of work in February, the highest level since 1997 – two years before the single currency was created in January 1999.

Eurozone manufacturing figures for March were also poor, as problems in troubled states, such as Greece and Spain, infected the likes of France and Germany.

Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight, said it was now “odds-on” that the eurozone would slip into recession at the end of this quarter.

Eurozone unemployment rose for the 10th month running, reaching 10.8% in February, although rates differed wildly between countries. Spain was hit hardest with 23.6% unemployment, compared with Austria at 4.2%.

Unemployment rose in most of the member states, although the increase was muted in the north, and the number of jobless people actually fell in Germany. In the struggling southern states, it shot up.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/apr/02/manufacturing-data-uk-europe

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Why are DHS and ICE stockpiling ammo?

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Planned Parenthood Bombed In Wisconsin

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/planned-parenthood-bomb-wisconsin_n_1396665.html

Posted: 04/ 2/2012

A small bomb exploded outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wis., on Sunday night, and police are investigating to learn who planted the device.

According to WGBA-TV, police fire crews found the homemade explosive outside a window sill that they believe had set off a small fire, which burned out before fire crews arrived. The building sustained a small amount of damage.

The FBI has joined with the local police department to investigate the bombing. Leonard Peace, a spokesman for the FBI’s Milwaukee Division, told The Huffington Post that the agency was notified of the incident on Sunday evening and initiated an investigation on Monday.

“The information that I have is that an unknown suspect placed a device at that location last evening, approximately 7:30 p.m.,” Peace said. “The device caused minimal fire damage to the facility. At this point in time, we’re reviewing the evidence to determine exactly what type of device it was.”

Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson told the Appleton Post Crescent that the bomb was made out of a plastic bottle and chemicals and “included agents of an incendiary quality.” He added that he had not heard of any threats to the clinic prior to Sunday’s incident.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/planned-parenthood-bomb-wisconsin_n_1396665.html

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Pink Slime Beef product maker gave $500,000 to Republicans over decade

From The Des Moines Register:  http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120401/NEWS/304010104/1024/ENT02-template/?odyssey=nav|head

Branstad says support for BPI is about jobs, not donations

Mar. 31, 2012

The maker of lean beef trimmings — on whose behalf Gov. Terry Branstad crusaded last week — donated more than $500,000 to Iowa Republican candidates over the past decade and was the top agricultural contributor to the governor’s latest re-election bid, records show.

Beef Products Inc. claims to be the largest producer of beef trimmings in the world. A social media campaign in recent weeks has derided the company’s lean, finely textured beef as “pink slime,” and some fast-food chains, supermarkets and school cafeterias are dropping its use.

The company’s top executives and employees have contributed at least $546,500 to candidates for state office in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas, where it has plants or other operations.

Republican governors or lieutenant governors from the five states traveled last week to South Sioux City, Neb., to tour the company’s plant there. Branstad organized the event, which was followed on Thursday by a news conference where he and others touted the health and nutritional benefits of the hamburger filler marketed as lean, finely textured beef.

Continue reading at:  http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120401/NEWS/304010104/1024/ENT02-template/?odyssey=nav|head

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Dr. Margaret Flowers Champions a Single-Payer-Medicare-for-all Healthcare System

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Autism and Disappearing Bees: A Common Denominator?

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/02

by Brian Moench
Published on Monday, April 2, 2012 by Common Dreams

A few days ago the Salt Lake Tribune’s front page headline declared, “Highest rate in the nation, 1 in 32 Utah boys has autism.”  This is a national public health emergency, whose epicenter is Utah, Gov. Herbert.  A more obscure story on the same day read: “New pesticides linked to bee population collapse.”  If you eat food, and hope to do so in the future, this is another national emergency, Pres. Obama.  A common  denominator may underlie both headlines.

A Stanford University study with 192 pairs of twins, with one twin autistic and one not, found that genetics accounts for 38% of the risk of autism, and environmental factors account for  62%.

Supporting an environmental/genetic tag team are other studies showing autistic children and their mothers have a high rate of a genetic deficiency in the production of glutathione,  an anti-oxidant and the body’s primary means of detoxifying heavy metals.  High levels of toxic metals in children are strongly correlated with the severity of autism.  Low levels of glutathione, coupled with high production of another chemical, homocysteine, increase the chance of a mother having an autistic child to one in three.  That autism is four times more common among boys than girls is likely related to a defect in the single male X chromosome contributing to anti-oxidant deficiency.   There is no such thing as a genetic disease epidemic  because genes don’t change that quickly.  So the alarming rise in autism must be the result of increased environmental exposures that exploit these genetic defects.

During the critical first three months of gestation a human embryo adds 250,000 brain cells per minute reaching 200 billion by the fifth month.  There is no chemical elixir that improves this biologic miracle, but thousands of toxic substances can cross the placenta and impair that process, leaving brain cells stressed, inflamed, less well developed, fewer in number and with fewer connections with each other all of which diminish brain function.  The opportunity to repair the resulting deficits later on is limited.

The list of autism’s environmental suspects is long and comes from many studies that show higher rates of autism with greater exposure to flame retardants, plasticizers like BPA,  pesticides, endocrine disruptors in personal care products, heavy metals in air pollution, mercury, and pharmaceuticals like anti-depressants.  (Utah’s highest in the nation autism rates are matched by the highest rates of anti-depressant use and the highest mercury levels in the country in the Great Salt Lake).

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/02

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Britain spying on its own citizens?

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How American Corporations Transformed from Producers to Predators

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/154745/how_american_corporations_transformed_from_producers_to_predators/

Over the last 30 years, corporations have turned on the 99 percent. Here’s how it happened and how to fight back.

By William Lazonick
April 1, 2012

Corporations are not working for the 99 percent. But this wasn’t always the case. In a special five-part series, William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation, along with journalist Ken Jacobson and AlterNet’s Lynn Parramore, will examine the foundations, history and purpose of the corporation to answer this vital question: How can the public take control of the business corporation and make it work for the real economy?

In 2010, the top 500 U.S. corporations – the Fortune 500 – generated $10.7 trillion in sales, reaped a whopping $702 billion in profits, and employed 24.9 million people around the globe. Historically, when these corporations have invested in the productive capabilities of their American employees, we’ve had lots of well-paid and stable jobs.

That was the case a half century ago.

Unfortunately, it’s not the case today. For the past three decades, top executives have been rewarding themselves with mega-million dollar compensation packages while American workers have suffered an unrelenting disappearance of middle-class jobs. Since the 1990s, this hollowing out of the middle-class has even affected people with lots of education and work experience. As the Occupy Wall Street movement has recognized, concentration of income and wealth of the top “1 percent” leaves the rest of us high and dry.

What went wrong? A fundamental transformation in the investment strategies of major U.S. corporations is a big part of the story.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/154745/how_american_corporations_transformed_from_producers_to_predators/

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