Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming People Among First, Most Affected by War on Terror’s Biometrics Craze

From Truth Out:

By Alissa Bohling
Monday, 16 April 2012

When Zev Al-Walid walks through an airport security scanner, he more or less willingly parts with his belt, his shoes and his pocket change, just like any other traveler. But by the time Walid – a man who was designated female at birth and later transitioned – is ready to reclaim his personal items, there’s often an extra hurdle blocking the path to his gate.

Walid, who travels frequently to the United States and countries around the world from his home in Western Europe, remembers a particularly bad trip through a US airport’s backscatter scanner machine.

“I wasn’t really privy to what the picture looked like or anything,” said Walid. “I could just hear the guy, in front of me, talking on the radio, presumably to the person looking at the image. And he was like, ‘Yeah. No. He’s right here. I’m telling you, he’s a man. I’m looking right at him.'”

“I felt physically ill after that,” said Walid.

Man, Woman, Terrorist

Since when did travelers’ gender become the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) business? Since at least September of 2003, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an advisory warning against “Al-Qaeda’s continued efforts to plan multiple attacks against the US and US interests overseas.” The advisory included a list of potential terrorism targets, a mention of recent arrests of unnamed terror suspects and this warning: “Male bombers may dress as females in order to discourage scrutiny.”

Maybe there was verifiable intelligence about male terrorists who like to slip women’s wear over their explosive devices. Or maybe the wardens of the security state read one too many spy novels. But either way, bringing gender into the security arena has major consequences.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming People Among First, Most Affected by War on Terror’s Biometrics Craze

Spanish king’s elephant hunting provokes outrage

From Raw Story:

By Giles Tremlett, The Guardian
Sunday, April 15, 2012

While ordinary Spaniards cope with harsh austerity, recession and soaring unemployment, the country’s royal family has been enjoying expensive hunting trips, one of which resulted in King Juan Carlos ending up in hospital.

The 74-year-old monarch’s fall in a park in Botswana provided an excuse for Spanish newspapers, who normally treat their royal family with kid gloves, to plaster their pages with photos of the king standing proudly in front of a dead elephant.

The photograph came from the website of Botswana-based Rann Safaris, which had been taken down by Sunday. The pictures, taken before the latest hunting trip, also showed the king with two dead water buffalo.

Shoots with Rann Safaris cost upwards of $8,700 (£5,500) a week, with an elephant costing a further $15,000 to kill. A day out with professional hunter Jeff Rann, pictured with the king, costs a further $2,000.

Continue reading at:

Too bad he didn’t fucking die in his fall.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Spanish king’s elephant hunting provokes outrage

Over 165,000 Students On Strike in Quebec Over Planned Tuition Hikes

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Over 165,000 Students On Strike in Quebec Over Planned Tuition Hikes

How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In

From The New York Times:

Published: April 13, 2012

IT’S a lot like one of those math problems that gave you fits in sixth grade: a salesman leaves home in Denver and drives his electric car to a meeting in Boulder. At the same time, a physicist driving the same model electric car sets out from her loft in Los Angeles, heading to an appointment near Anaheim.

For both, the traffic is light, and the cars consume an identical amount of battery power while traveling the same number of miles. Being purely electric, they emit zero tailpipe pollutants during their trips.

The test question: are their carbon footprints also equal?

The answer may be a surprise. According to a report that the Union of Concerned Scientists plans to release on Monday, there would be a considerable difference in the amount of greenhouse gases — primarily carbon dioxide — that result from charging the cars’ battery packs. By trapping heat, greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.

The advocacy group’s report, titled “State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel Cost Savings Across the United States,” uses the electric power requirements of the Nissan Leaf as a basis for comparison. The Leaf, on sale in the United States for more than a year and the most widely available electric model from a major automaker, sets a logical baseline.

The California part of the story is upbeat: a hypothetical Los Angeles Leaf would be accountable for the release of an admirably low level of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, about the same as a gasoline car getting 79 miles per gallon. But the Denver car would cause as large a load of greenhouse gases to enter the atmosphere as some versions of the gasoline-powered Mazda 3, a compact sedan rated at 33 m.p.g. in combined city and highway driving by the Environmental Protection Agency. In simple terms, the effect of electric vehicles on the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment can span a wide range, varying with the source of the electricity that charges them. California’s clean power makes the Leaf a hero; the regional mix of coal-dependent utilities serving Denver diminish the car’s benefits as a global-warming fighter.

The U.C.S. report, which takes into account the full cycle of energy production, often called a well-to-wheels analysis, demonstrates that in areas where the electric utility relies on natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric or renewable sources to power its generators, the potential for electric cars and plug-in hybrids to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is great. But where generators are powered by burning a high percentage of coal, electric cars may not be even as good as the latest gasoline models — and far short of the thriftiest hybrids.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In

Why You Should Care: Greek Debt

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why You Should Care: Greek Debt

Hispanic group urges Obama to ‘revisit’ ENDA stopgap

From The Washington Blade:

By Chris Johnson
April 16, 2012

An organization billing itself as the largest Hispanic civil rights group in the United States is calling on President Obama to “revisit” his decision not to take administrative action to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors.

In a letter dated April 16, the National Council of La Raza “strongly urge[s]” Obama to reconsider the recent announcement that he won’t issue at this time an executive order requiring companies doing business with the U.S. government to have non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Eric Rodriguez, the organization’s vice president of the Office of Research, Advocacy & Litigation, argued on behalf of the executive order in part because it’s “important to millions of Hispanic LGBT community members.”

“It will also help vital federal contractors attract and retain talented employees, as well as improve workplace productivity, appeal to consumers, and decrease the possibility of costly litigation,” Rodriguez writes.

The letter cites previously released information, including recent polling from the Human Rights Campaign showing 72 percent of Latinos support the directive. The letter also cited a recent letter signed by 72 House Democrats in favor of the order, noting that among its signers are Latino members of the House: Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Calif.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and former Congressional Hispanic Caucus chair Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.)

“In addition, 25 of some of the largest federal contractors think it is a good practice to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their non-discrimination policies,” Rodriguez writes. “It is, but it also does something else — it protects a group of people who have a long history of being marginalized and gives them hope. That is why we urge you to sign an EO on this matter as soon as possible.”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Hispanic group urges Obama to ‘revisit’ ENDA stopgap

Occupy Anthem – Anonymous Music 2012

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Occupy Anthem – Anonymous Music 2012

Women and men are still unequal – even when they are dead

From The Guardian UK:

The word widow appears in newspapers up to 15 times more frequently than widower, a discrepancy that suggests that women are still defined in terms of their relationship to men.

Matt Mills
Monday 16 April 2012

It is notable, when reading articles in any British newspaper, that the language used to refer to the surviving spouse of a man who has died differs considerably from that used to refer to the surviving spouse of a woman who has died. Despite the fact that there are paired words – widow and widower – the way they are used varies greatly. The unequal usage of the two words is evident in countless news articles referring to a deceased man’s spouse as his widow or the widow of X. Widow is also quite frequently used in headlines where the woman’s marital status is not relevant to the article.

In contrast, widower is not regularly used in the same way. Newspaper reports discussing a woman who has died refer to her spouse as her husband and not her widower. Widowed men can be referred to as a husband in headlines, when wife is much less used for widowed women. It is also less likely for a man to be referred to as a widower in headlines not relevant to his marital status.

Dictionaries and style guides do not give rules for the ways widower and widow are used, but a study of online newspaper articles clearly shows a huge discrepancy of uses of widow in contrast to those of widower.

For example, the Daily Mail website had a story with the headline “Widow awaiting cancer surgery told to get back to work by benefits inspectors under government’s welfare reforms“. A West Midlands evening newspaper, the Express and Star, featured the headline “Widow must rehome 13 cats or face 20,000 fine“. However, there were no articles where a man was called a widower in similar circumstances.

Instances of the words widow and widower are wildly at variance in all newspapers, including this one. In the past year, there were 475 widows and just 50 widowers in the Guardian, 729 widows and 114 widows in the Daily Mail, and 918 widows and 147 widowers in the Sun. An online search suggests a ratio of about 15 widow references to one widower in the Independent, eight to one in the Telegraph, and six to one in the London Evening Standard.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Women and men are still unequal – even when they are dead

The K-E Diet: Brides-to-Be Using Feeding Tubes to Rapidly Shed Pounds

Just when you think all the gender indoctrination and insane behavior in the name of adherence to perfect gender adherence couldn’t get much more insane.  I mean someone better have a couple of strong assistance before trying to pour hot wax on my pubes and rip them out.

Now dieting via nasal tubes.  How much more fucking ick can you get in pursuit of pseudo beauty?

From Yahoo News:–abc-news-health.html

April 16, 2012

Brides-to-be looking to shed that final 10, 15 or 20 pounds in order to fit into their dream wedding gown have taken a controversial approach to crash dieting that involves inserting a feeding tube into their noses for up to 10 days for a quick fix to rapid weight loss.

The K-E diet, which boasts promises of shedding 20 pounds in 10 days, is an increasingly popular alternative to ordinary calorie-counting programs. The program has dieters inserting a feeding tube into their nose that runs to the stomach. They’re fed a constant slow drip of protein and fat, mixed with water, which contains zero carbohydrates and totals 800 calories a day. Body fat is burned off through a process called ketosis, which leaves muscle intact, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., said.

“It is a hunger-free, effective way of dieting,” Di Pietro said. “Within a few hours and your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days. That’s what is so amazing about this diet.”

Di Pietro says patients are under a doctor’s supervision, although they’re not hospitalized during the dieting process. Instead, they carry the food solution with them, in a bag, like a purse, keeping the tube in their nose for 10 days straight. Di Pietro says there are few side effects.

The main side effects are bad breath; there is some constipation because there is no fiber in the food,” he said.

Slipping into a wedding gown for a dream wedding is a moment of truth for most brides, but as many say that there is a real fear that it will not quite fit. That’s how Jessica Schnaider says she felt with a June wedding approaching and 10 pounds she says she couldn’t lose. She was desperate for a quick fix.

Continue reading at:–abc-news-health.html

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The K-E Diet: Brides-to-Be Using Feeding Tubes to Rapidly Shed Pounds

IRS Largely Ignores Super Rich

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on IRS Largely Ignores Super Rich

Selfish is the New Green

Leave it to the Randholes to make selfishness, greed and the destruction of the environment into a virtue.  They live in total denial regarding the planet’s resources.

From TreeHugger:

Lloyd Alter
April 16, 2012

It’s odd, reading Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail as she dismisses David Suzuki and the entire environmental movement. Where she writes:

The problem isn’t that the environmental movement has failed to explain this message. It’s that people have rejected it. Mr. Suzuki fears the consequences for the planet and the human race will be catastrophic. I’m more optimistic. Doomsday cults have been wrong throughout history, and this one will be no exception.

Remember that this is not Fox News, it is Canada’s sober and responsible National Newspaper. Peggy goes on to extol the wonders of our current age:

Far from running out of fossil fuel, we seem to have a new bonanza of it. Human ingenuity keeps finding new and better ways to tap the Earth’s resources. A technological revolution is unlocking vast new reserves of energy around the world, including, some day, from the Arctic Ocean. None of this will be zero-risk or problem-free. There’ll be setbacks, mishaps and, probably, occasional disasters. But there’ll also be a gusher of innovation, wealth and jobs.

Not a word about climate change. It no longer exists. Carbon isn’t an environmental issue. But in her own back yard, the megaquarry is.

Then it is even odder, going to the Green Living Show in Toronto, finding a third of it devoted to food, a third to cars, and about a third, a sort of home show of green gizmos. Some interesting things, but the world will not be saved by probiotic yoghurt and plug-in hybrids. It all seems a bit surreal and half-hearted.

The green movement is dead, and it appears to have been replaced with the Selfish movement. Put solar panels on your roof and make money from the government.”It’s better than the bank.” Eat the right food. “you will live longer, better.” Drive the plug-in car. “you will save thousands in fuel costs.” It is not about the environment, it’s not about the climate, it’s all about you.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Selfish is the New Green

Big Poultry’s Dangerous Push for Faster Line Speeds

From Huffington Post:


The only thing worse than a chicken with its head cut off is one with its head in the sand. That was my initial reaction after reading Administrator Alfred Almanza’s piece defending Big Poultry’s push to dramatically increase line speed in our nation’s plants.

Much of the discussion surrounding the controversial poultry inspection rule has been about food safety. What’s been missing is a focus on the safety of the workers who process that food. This rule does nothing to protect them.

The proposed rule will throw out the current method of inspecting poultry, reducing the number of Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors and increasing the speed that birds are processed from 70-91 a minute to a maximum of 175 a minute.

Big Poultry is in a rush to see this rule take effect, yet no comprehensive effort has been made to determine the impact it will have on the health and safety of workers. No study of injuries and illnesses, including in the 20 “broiler plants” Almanza mentioned, has occurred. No Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard has been implemented.

In other words, workers will be at heightened risk of repetitive motion related injuries and Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) without any enforceable safety standard to rely on.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Big Poultry’s Dangerous Push for Faster Line Speeds

Fool’s Gold: US Healthcare System Cheats Patients

From Common Dreams:

by Donna Smith
Published on Monday, April 16, 2012 by Common Dreams

In case any one of us needs reminding, the profit-driven healthcare system in America is broken. Driven by its primary motivation to make money, there is little that compels those currently in control to care about patients like you and me. We are most assuredly a necessary component of the healthcare market – they cannot make any money without us – but we are treated like children to be seen and not heard.

The vast majority of us cannot access or pay for the care we need without health insurance coverage through either a private, for-profit health insurance company or through a government program for which we qualify. A small minority of people can afford to pay for care outright with cash or credit.

For that small minority, concierge care is the answer. Wealthy patients can pony up money in advance to assure services that used to be a matter of course – like return phone calls from our personal physicians, a doctor’s visit with our own doctor within a reasonable period of time should we get hurt or sick, or even a call with test results as soon as our doctors learned those results. Some of us remember the days when that was what doctors did for their patients routinely. But now humanity and decency is for sale in our medical system. Our doctors need to have the pot sweetened a bit with a little extra cash in order to deliver services that require extra time and attention like personal phone calls to patients.

Many of us support ending some of this insanity by improving and expanding Medicare coverage to all for life. A progressively financed, single standard of high quality care for all would be an amazing improvement and would put an end to many of patient abuses we endure today. But, sadly, some abuses are spreading through providers so deftly that we come to accept being cogs in the wheel of profit without control of our own health destiny, and simply fixing the payment mechanism will not be enough to fix the broken human interactions or lack thereof.

Like the vast majority of Americans, I do not have easy access or attention from my doctor and I certainly do not have concierge care. I have insurance coverage through my job from one of the giants of the insurance industry. Six weeks ago, I began trying to get a diagnosis and treatment plan after symptoms of cancer returned to my body for the first time in more than eight years. I still do not have my answers or my care. First, the insurance company denied the tests my doctor felt would be best after lab work showed the elevated cancer markers. Then I had the tests the insurance company would approve at that point, though the doctor was sure those tests would not be exactly right. I had to be injected with radioactive isotopes and scanned for four days in a row. A week later, after making yet another doctor’s appointment as is now often required to get any test results, I learned that, as expected, the test results were inconclusive. My doctor referred me on to the oncologist.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Fool’s Gold: US Healthcare System Cheats Patients

Does this Generation have a Rendezvous w/Destiny?

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Does this Generation have a Rendezvous w/Destiny?

Sen. Bernie Sanders blasts economic inequality: This is not what democracy looks like

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, April 16, 2012

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) railed against the growing economic inequality in the United States during a Senate speech in support of the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012.

“It is absurd that at a time when our country has a $15 trillion national debt and enormous unmet needs, the wealthiest people in this country have an effective tax rate that is lower than many middle-class workers,” he said on Monday. “It makes no sense that the richest 400 people in our country, who earned an average of more than $270 million each in 2008 pay an effective tax rate of just 18 percent, which is less than many small businessmen, nurses, teachers, police officers, et cetera. That is wrong from a moral perspective, it is also very bad economic policy.”

The Paying a Fair Share Act would enact the so-called “Buffett Rule” and place a minimum tax rate on millionaires. The legislation would require those who earn more than $1 million a year to pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate on their income.

Sanders said the United States was moving towards an “oligarchic form of government,” where the wealthy have a disproportionate amount of political power. He said a recent study found that in 2010, 93 percent of all new income went to the top 1 percent of income-earners.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Sen. Bernie Sanders blasts economic inequality: This is not what democracy looks like

Screen uncovers hidden ingredients of Chinese medicine

From Nature:

Genetic audit reveals that some traditional remedies contain endangered animals and toxic plants.

Ewen Callaway
12 April 2012

Chinese herbal medicines contain ingredients derived from endangered animals, toxic plants and livestock, a genetic audit has discovered. Few of these ingredients were listed on the packaging.

“There’s absolutely no honesty in the labelling of these products. What they declare is completely at odds with what’s in there,” says Mike Bunce, a geneticist at Murdoch University near Perth, Australia, who led the study. The results are published today in PLoS Genetics1.

Traditional Chinese medicines rack up billions of dollars in worldwide sales each year, and exports to Western countries are on the rise. However, most of the medicines have not been proved to be effective, and industry regulation is scant.

When the medicines have been ground up, it is very difficult to tell what they are made of. In the past, researchers have examined herbal medicines by running assays for toxic compounds and using DNA tests to determine whether a specific plant or animal is present.

But mislabelling is rampant, so researchers do not always know what to look for and conventional approaches will miss many of the species that are present, says Bunce.

His team turned instead to next-generation DNA sequencers, which can rapidly read thousands of DNA strands. The researchers can then check the genetic sequences against databases to learn which plants or animals they come from. This ‘deep sequencing’ technique has been used to characterize mixtures of microbes living in environments such as oceans and animal guts.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Screen uncovers hidden ingredients of Chinese medicine

Is Georgia Waiting for Its Jobless to Just Kill Themselves? How State GOPers Made Unemployment Hell on Earth

From Alternet:

Red-state deficit politics become personal when Georgia’s Republican majority cuts unemployment benefits.

By George Bauer
April 2, 2012

ATLANTA — His name is not important; his story is. Let’s call him Joe. Life has been bad lately for Joe and others like him. And now, thanks to the heartless actions of the Republican-dominated Georgia General Assembly, things are about to get worse for many more Joes.

As legislators raced toward adjournment in the waning hours of their mandated 40-day annual session in late March, they trampled on the well-being of those who will become unemployed in the months ahead. It’s already hard enough to get, and keep, jobless benefits here in the Peach State. The pay is paltry, there’s a long wait to get the first check, and there’s little hope of getting additional benefits if claimants can’t find a job in six months.

Joe is typical. He lost his job in mid-January. The very next day Joe went to a Georgia Department of Labor office to file for unemployment benefits. The computer application process took two hours to complete. A state worker, after checking Joe’s application, told him he would not get his first benefit check until his claim had been certified by a DOL officer at headquarters in Atlanta. The call, he told Joe, should come in several days.

Only when he was certified could Joe start receiving $330 per week from the state. When Joe protested that he was making much more than that and had many bills to pay, the worker gave Joe the facts of life: everyone on unemployment in Georgia gets $330 a week — TV anchors, stockbrokers or coffeehouse baristas. And once taxes were withheld, the DOL worker said the weekly payout would be closer to $280.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Is Georgia Waiting for Its Jobless to Just Kill Themselves? How State GOPers Made Unemployment Hell on Earth