Monday, Manic Monday

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Voter ID laws could disenfranchise more than 25,000 transgender voters: study

These voter ID laws are an attack on the voting rights of poor people, older people, women and minorities because surprise, surprise they are most likely to vote democratic and in their own interests.

People have caught on to the Republi-Nazis and they can’t win honestly any more so now they do what all thugs do they cheat and steal elections.

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Sunday, April 15, 2012

New voter ID laws will likely make it more difficult for more than 25,000 transgender voters to cast a ballot in the November elections, according to a study released by the Williams Institute.

Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have all passed laws requiring voters to present a government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. But the laws impose unique barriers on transgender individuals, since many do not have an updated identification — such as a driver’s license — that lists their correct gender.

“Transgender people who have transitioned face unique hurdles when acquiring or updating identification that would fulfill voter ID requirements because they must comply with the requirements for updating the name and gender on their state-issued or federally-issued IDs and records,” wrote the study’s author, Dr. Jody L. Herman. “Requirements for updating state-issued IDs vary widely by state and can be difficult and costly. Federal requirements also vary by agency.”

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), 40 percent of transgender citizens who have transitioned reported not having an updated driver’s license and 74 percent did not have an updated U.S. passport.

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See also: The Advocate: How States Disenfranchise Transgender Voters

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An Apple a Day Melts the Pounds Away!

From Huffington Post:

Posted: 04/12/2012

Here’s the secret to weight loss: It’s all about crowding out, not cutting out. Crowding out is a term used in nutritional circles to describe how to eat in a healthy way so that you never even have the chance to feel hungry. You literally crowd out the junk you think you want to eat by choosing to eat key foods throughout the day so that you’re always satisfied. Isn’t that preferable to depriving yourself of foods and white-knuckling it all the way?

When you gradually add in nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods, you simply stop feeling cravings. You run out of space in your belly for the old junk. Instead of craving, you feel full, fulfilled, and content.

Here’s how it works: All you have to do to get started is to add healthier choices to whatever else you’re already eating. Before you dig into whatever it is you really want to eat, have something with some natural fiber in it — ideally, an apple — because in all the medical literature, the one dietary component most associated with weight loss is fiber consumption. The reason fiber helps us control our weight is that it fills the belly yet yields few calories since fiber is, for the most part, not something that we can digest. It also slows down the digestion of food, so you get a slow and steady source of glucose sans the rollercoaster ride of blood sugar crazies and the cravings that follow.

Most Americans don’t get enough fiber each day to meet their nutritional requirements. It’s recommended that women get at least 25 grams of fiber per day on a 2,000 calorie diet — or to be more precise, 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed. Men are recommended to get 38 grams. However, the average American only gets about 15 grams daily. Twenty-five grams is actually at the low end of what your optimal fiber intake, so there’s no reason not to aim higher. We humans actually evolved eating more than 100 grams of fiber a day, largely from wild greens. So back to that apple: How does an apple measure up in terms of fiber? Eating just one apple a day (skin on) will give you an average of 4.4 grams of fiber, about one-fifth of your daily need.

And apples don’t have just any old fiber, they are a rich source of a particularly powerful kind called pectin. It’s what’s used as a gelling agent to make jams and jellies, and in our stomach it can delay stomach emptying through a similar mechanism. Researchers at UCLA showed that by swapping in pectin for regular fiber, they could double the time it took subjects’ stomachs to empty from about 1 hour to 2 hours, which meant subjects felt full that much longer.[1] And in another study published in the journal Nutrition, scientists found that instructing participants to eat an apple or a pear before meals resulted in significant weight loss.[2]

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Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits

Let me get this straight the rich spoiled Ann Romney get to stay at home and order service providers around and is considered a good mother who works.  But Welfare Mothers who have to scrimp to make ends meet or pay outrageous amounts for child care are considered lazy and need to get job.

Once again Mittens shows ho true the old saying is, “The rich are truly different from you or I.”

From Huffington Post:


WASHINGTON — Poor women who stay at home to raise their children should be given federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market and “have the dignity of work,” Mitt Romney said in January, undercutting the sense of extreme umbrage he showed when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen quipped last week that Ann Romney had not “worked a day in her life.”

The remark, made to a Manchester, N.H., audience, was unearthed by MSNBC’s “Up w/Chris Hayes,” and aired during the 8 a.m. hour of his show Sunday.

Ann Romney and her husband’s campaign fired back hard at Rosen following her remark. “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work,” Romney said on Twitter.

On Sunday, Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told The Huffington Post in an email, “Moving welfare recipients into work was one of the basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that President Clinton signed into law. The sad fact is that under President Obama the poverty rate among women rose to 14.5 percent in 2011, the highest rate in 17 years. The Obama administration’s economic policies have been devastating to women and families.”

Mitt Romney, however, judging by his January remark, views stay-at-home moms who are supported by federal assistance much differently than those backed by hundreds of millions in private equity income. Poor women, he said, shouldn’t be given a choice, but instead should be required to work outside the home to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. “[E]ven if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work,” Romney said of moms on TANF.

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Rewriting the Rules of the Global Economy – Creating Economics That Improve People’s Lives

From Truth Out:

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell, Other Worlds
Saturday, 14 April 2012

Rather than having these people inside the Beltway be the experts on the issue… we ask: How can we empower the people who are actually affected by the issues to be the spokespeople?” – Deborah James

Ask just about anyone about the “99%” these days and, regardless of how they feel about the Occupy movement, they’ll probably acknowledge the increasing concentration of wealth and power that the past few decades have brought. Occupy has successfully propelled issues of inequality and corporate control to mainstream consciousness, here in the belly of the beast, in the nation that has been pivotal to defining the world economic system.

The current popular US dissent over the extreme concentration of wealth and the marginalization of the voices of the majority has long precursors in US social movements. The farmers’ movements of the 1870s, the populist movement of the 1890s, the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) and other militant labor unions from the dawn of the 20th Century through the 1950s, the civil rights and Black, Chicano, and Native nationalist movements from the 1960s on, and many other social movements… all have been rooted in calls for a more equitable division of power and economic resources. Parallel struggles, in many different forms, have occurred throughout the world.

The global justice movement, also known as the anti-globalization movement, exploded around the global South in the 1980s, when new draconian reforms demanded by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), as conditions for loans, destroyed national economies and the lives of those within them. The World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999 and the World Bank and IMF meetings in Washington in 2000, when hundreds of thousands of residents of the US and Europe turned out into the streets to protest the trade and financial regimes, marked something new: active alliance from the global North. Since then, organized populations everywhere have worked in their own countries and transnationally to subvert the rules of the global economy, where the wealthiest citizens, corporations, and counties make the decisions for all of us. The people’s movements have reminded us that economic globalization, which we are told is the only possible economic order, only commenced at the end of World War II, and that we do not have to accept it as it currently exists.

Those who are flooding streets today in Spain, Portugal, and Greece, and the millions who have preceded them around the world, all posit an alternative vision for economies: that they be just, that they provide for all without exploitation, that they place the well-being of human beings and the environment over profit, and that everyone gets to be part of shaping them. They believe that economic relationships should be driven by our desire to nurture each other and our communities, not by the competition and greed often underlying the corporate market. And they have won dramatic victories.

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Increasingly in Europe, Suicides ‘by Economic Crisis’

From The New York Times:

By and
Published: April 14, 2012

TREVISO, Italy — On New Year’s Eve, Antonio Tamiozzo, 53, hanged himself in the warehouse of his construction business near Vicenza, after several debtors did not pay what they owed him.

Three weeks earlier, Giovanni Schiavon, 59, a contractor, shot himself in the head at the headquarters of his debt-ridden construction company on the outskirts of Padua. As he faced the bleak prospect of ordering Christmas layoffs at his family firm of two generations, he wrote a last message: “Sorry, I cannot take it anymore.”

The economic downturn that has shaken Europe for the last three years has also swept away the foundations of once-sturdy lives, leading to an alarming spike in suicide rates. Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling “suicide by economic crisis.”

Many, like Mr. Tamiozzo and Mr. Schiavon, have died in obscurity. Others, like the desperate 77-year-old retiree who shot himself outside the Greek Parliament on April 4, have turned their personal despair into dramatic public expressions of anger at the leaders who have failed to soften the blows of the crisis.

A complete picture of the phenomenon across Europe is elusive, as some countries lag in reporting statistics and coroners are loath to classify deaths as suicides, to protect surviving family members. But it is clear that countries on the front line of the economic crisis are suffering the worst, and that suicides among men have increased the most.

In Greece, the suicide rate among men increased more than 24 percent from 2007 to 2009, government statistics show. In Ireland during the same period, suicides among men rose more than 16 percent. In Italy, suicides motivated by economic difficulties have increased 52 percent, to 187 in 2010 — the most recent year for which statistics were available — from 123 in 2005.

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Proposals Raising the Normal Retirement Age for Social Security Would Lead to Increase in Inequality

From Nation of Change:

By Alan Barber
April 15, 2012

Social Security remains the most important source of income for most Americans in their retirement. Nonetheless, there are many proposals for cutting benefits that get serious consideration, including increasing the normal retirement age. A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research examines the impact of raising the Social Security retirement age and its effect on the distribution of wealth from loss of future Social Security benefits.

“The full retirement age for Social Security is already scheduled to increase to 67 over the next 10 years,” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and an author of the report. “Despite the fact that each year of increase in the normal retirement age is equal to a cut in benefits of 6 to 7 percent, some policy makers are calling for raising the retirement age as high as 70.”

The report, “The Impact on Inequality of Raising the Social Security Retirement Age,” projects the impact of a gradual increase of the normal retirement age on various demographic groups, looking at each quintile of the wealth distribution, as well as the richest 1 percent. The paper also contains separate projections for homeowners and non-homeowners, single individuals and couples in several age cohorts. These projections demonstrate that Social Security wealth is a much larger share of wealth for the bottom four of the five groups. As a result, an increase in the retirement age would cause an increase in inequality.

“Since those in the top income quintile have vastly more wealth than those in other quintiles, a loss of 7 percent of Social Security benefits will not affect their total wealth as dramatically as those in the other four quintiles,” continued Baker.

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Wildlife and farming disaster warning as drought spreads across England

From The Guardian UK:

Officials warn dry spell could last into next year and hosepipe bans could be extended to cover larger areas

The Guardian, Sunday 15 April 2012

Most of England is now in drought and the dry spell could last beyond Christmas, the Environment Agency will announce today[Monday], as government officials started planning for a long-term water shortage that could be disastrous for wildlife, the landscape and farming.

Large swaths of the Midlands and the south-west have entered official drought status, meaning water companies in those areas can apply to place restrictions on water use for households and businesses. This could mean an extension of the hosepipe bans in the south of England.

The drought now extends from Cornwall to Kent, East Anglia to Shropshire and Herefordshire, and as far north as Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and North Yorkshire. Even parts of Wales – normally one of the wettest parts of the UK – are reporting ill-effects from the dry spell. The smattering of rain in many areas over Easter gave little respite from low river flows and falling groundwater levels, with only England’s northernmost counties still getting enough wet weather.

While rain over the summer and autumn could alleviate the water shortages, officials are planning for the third dry winter in a row, which could devastate wildlife and farming. Only a very wet autumn and winter could prevent the drought stretching into next year. Soils are so dry that they will need a prolonged heavy soaking to recover, while levels at reservoir across much of England are so low they will take time to replenish.

Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, warned the outlook was bleak. “A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely, and we are working with businesses, farmers and water companies to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought,” he said. “While we’ve had some welcome rain recently, the problem has not gone away and we would urge everyone – right across the country – to use water wisely now, which will help prevent more serious impacts next year.”

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More Evidence U.S. Police Brutality Is Out Of Control

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LAPD plans separate jail for transgender suspects

A bit more details than the previous announcement.

I think this is a good thing neither transgender nor pre-op transsexuals deserve to be thrown in with the men to be rape just because they have been arrested and charged with a crime.

From The LA Times:,0,6584779.story

Police will open a 24-bed facility in response to the risk of violence among the general inmate population. Chief Charlie Beck instructs officers to treat transgender people with respect.

By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles TimesApril 15, 2012

Responding to incidents of violence against transgender arrestees, the Los Angeles Police Department plans to open a segregated lockup for biologically male and female suspects who identify themselves as members of the opposite sex, officials said.

By early May, a 24-bed transgender module will open at the LAPD women’s jail downtown, the first such police lockup in the nation, according to Capt. Dave Lindsay, the jail division commander.

“This is a major change,” Lindsay said. It will allow for “an environment that’s safe and secure, as there’s been a history of violence against transgender people.”

City jails are for holding people only until they are arraigned in court on the charges on which they were arrested, typically a maximum of three days; then they are transferred to the Los Angeles County Jail, run by the Sheriff’s Department. The county jail will not be affected by the changes.

Up until now, transgender men and women arrested by Los Angeles police have been housed in the station closest to where they were detained — most often the jail at the Hollywood Community Police Station on Wilcox Avenue. Transgender women — men who dress and identify as women — were housed with the male population. Transgender advocates have long argued that such practices put transgender inmates at risk of being sexually assaulted or beaten.

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Study: Historic Rise to Sea Levels in Pacific Ocean Linked to Climate Change

From Common Dreams:

Drastic changes are ‘important climate change signals,’ researchers conclude

– Common Dreams staff
Published on Friday, April 13, 2012 by Common Dreams

A rapid rise in sea levels in Southwest Pacific Ocean has occurred, according to a new study, and researchers say human-made climate change is likely the cause for significant rises in the 20th century. Scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia, partnered with other British universities, measured sea levels going back 6,000 years and spotted significant increases in the 19th and 20th centuries. Of note is that a major spike in the late 20th century, starting around 1990, is likely linked to human-created climate change, researchers said.

“The 1990s peak is most likely indicative of human-induced climate change,” said Patrick Moss, a scientist from the University of Queensland. “Any drastic changes from the norm, which persist for several decades and over a wide area, represent important climate signals.”

United Press International: Historic sea level rise in Pacific studied

Sea levels in the Southwest Pacific have risen dramatically since the late 19th century, a study by Australian and British researchers shows.

Scientists at the University of Queensland, with colleagues in British universities, said sea levels in Tasmania remained relatively stable for much of the past 6,000 years but around 1880 they started rising drastically, increasing almost 8 inches in the last century.

Between 1900 and 1950, relative sea levels rose at an average rate of 0.16 inches per year, Queensland researcher Patrick Moss said in a university release.

The highest rates of sea level rise occurred in the 1910s with a second peak in the 1990s, he reported.

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Mitt Romney’s poor judgment is already undermining his candidacy

From The Guardian UK:

Finally, Obama’s opponent has been confirmed, but can the Republican nominee mount an effective challenge?

The Observer, Saturday 14 April 2012

I doubt you will ever find a politician more desperate to believe Nietzsche’s aphorism that whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger than Mitt Romney.

With former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum announcing that he is suspending his presidential campaign, it ensures what many political observers have assumed for quite some time – that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president this autumn. Only 26 other men have achieved this goal, so congratulations to Romney are in order. But a larger view of Romney’s political situation takes some of the bloom off this particular rose. Have the past 12 months of campaigning – while certainly not killing him – really made Romney stronger? So far the evidence is not very good.

Only 34% of Americans have a positive view of Romney, which makes him at this point in the presidential campaign one of the least popular presumptive nominees in American history. Even candidates who lost (and lost badly) such as Dukakis in 1988, Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008 were more popular than Romney is right now. More disconcerting still is the fact that even Republican rank-and-file voters are somewhat indifferent to Romney. His favourability among Republicans overall is a rather tepid 62%. Those who define themselves as conservatives within these ranks have an even less favourable view, with 47% viewing their party’s nominee in a positive light. On the other side, Obama has none of the same problems with a sparkling 86% favourability among Democrats.

Granted, most of these traditional Republican voters will cast a ballot for Romney in November, but it also means that he must spend some of his precious time over the next few months rallying conservatives behind him, to ensure they turn out in droves. On a practical level, this results in Romney not only needing to dent the relatively high favourability ratings of his opponent, but also having to rehabilitate his own.

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Study: We’re Screwed Without Wolves and Bears

From Mother Jones:

By Stephanie Mencimer
Tue Apr. 10, 2012

Deer have been a blight on suburbia for a while now, munching their way through tract-housing gardens and making some highways extremely dangerous for motorists, as their populations have exploded. (In DC, where they live in abundant numbers in the city’s biggest park, Rock Creek Park, they’re known by neighbors as rats with antlers.) Deer are also radically changing places like the forests of the Adirondacks by devouring young tree shoots from the storied maples and leaving nothing but beech. But a new study finds that it’s not just deer populations that are wreaking havoc on North American ecosystems. It’s all of the large mammals that graze on plants.

Moose, elk, and deer populations are at historic highs, according to an extensive review by scientists at Oregon State University. And they’re taking their toll on young trees, reducing biodiversity of forests and contributing to climate change as a result. The leading cause of the disrupted ecosystems is the disappearance of the predators, namely wolves and bears. Researchers found that large mammal densities were six times higher in areas without wolves than in those with them.

“These issues do not just affect the United States and a few national parks,” said William Ripple, an OSU professor of forestry and lead author of the study, in a statement. “The data from Canada, Alaska, the Yukon, Northern Europe and Asia are all showing similar results. There’s consistent evidence that large predators help keep populations of large herbivores in check, with positive effects on ecosystem health.”

Wolf and bear populations have been decimated by humans who fear them for many reasons, but mainly by ranchers who see them as a major threat to valuable livestock. But humans have been far less successful in dealing with the resulting explosion of big game that’s come as a result. I was in my home state of Utah for the past couple of weeks, where it’s pretty common to find lots of deer alongside the highways, where they cause a lot of car accidents. But this time, i was shocked to pass elk and moose among the road kill, the leftovers of what must have been horrible collisions given the animals’ size. My dad told me that the moose had gotten so out of control that they were hanging out in people’s backyards like domesticated animals.

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