Stop making infants into sex objects

From The Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20120722-esther-cepeda-stop-making-infants-into-sex-objects.ece

Esther Cepeda
Published: 22 July 2012

Ignorant. Vain. Disrespectful. Negligent. These are just some of the character traits of people who not only accept but condone, finance and promote the sexualization of very young children.

If this sounds a bit harsh, how else would you describe parents who sex up their infants?

Yes, their babies.

Imagine my disgust — after previously having written about how young children have sexual identities projected onto them through toddler beauty pageants, sexy clothing for kindergartners and French-style lingerie for girls as young as 4 — at finding sexualized clothing for newborns.

News reports this month told the story of outraged parents in Mississippi who complained to a local TV station when they found baby onesies for sale printed with a woman’s bust and slim waist covered in only a polka-dot bikini.

Does such a frivolous item mean the end of the world? Of course not, but that is not a defense of the indefensible.

The bikini onesie is tame compared with some of the baby clothing you can find with a quick Web search. CafePress has infant body suits that read “Hung like a preschooler.” There’s also the “Stripper Infant Bodysuit,” which has two tassled stars silkscreened where the baby’s nipples go. I won’t detail the ones with messages hinting at sexual arousal, pimp culture and sex toys.

Har-dee-har-har. This is what passes as funny for the numbskull parents who choose to clothe their babies in these billboards for family dysfunction.

These trends take off because there’s money to be made in hawking such novelty wear.

Continue reading at:  http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20120722-esther-cepeda-stop-making-infants-into-sex-objects.ece

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Rape By Any Other Name is Still Rape

Time to Start Calling it Rape and not Sexual Assault

When Jerry Sandusky forces or manipulated young boys into submitting to his fucking them in the ass it was rape, either forcible or statutory.

Why are we hiding the ugly fact that he committed the act of rape upon these boys?

Does sexual assault sound better?

Or have we become so enamored with the whole fucking gender binary that we are wedded to the idea that rape consists solely of the act of forcible or coerced penile vaginal penitration.

Is forced oral copulation some sort of lesser offense?

Is forced anal penetration some how different from forced vaginal penetration.

We have become so callous that we regularly make jokes about male upon male prison rape, indeed prison rape is the last remaining acceptable genre of rape jokes.

I’ve been on the receiving end and jail house rape isn’t exactly a bundle of laughs.

When a post-transsexual woman claims she has been raped the proper response is to treat her claim every bit as seriously as the the same claim by a natal woman would be treated.

Arguing with the victim whether or not her vagina can be considered a vagina or whether she is “legally female.”  As though it is possible to be illegally female.

If a pre-op or transgender woman reports having been raped anally it is still rape.

If someone reports being forced by a man to perform oral sex on him, it is a form of rape.

Rape involves a male person or person using a penis substitute to orally, anally or vaginally penetrate the body of another person.

Time to call it that and stop pretending that is somehow something more deserving of a euphemism because the penis violated some orifice other than a vagina.

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Transgender advocates seek new diagnostic terms

Round and round in the circle game.

Back to the future of 1974, when they decided to call transsexualism by a new name, “Gender Dysphoria.”

From Google News:  http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5igREEZVPoKaNrYGbPi_5m11DRblA?docId=b90d772912ff4657908e53a9f90bd963

By Lisa Leff
July 22, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Does a woman who strongly believes she was meant to be a man have a mental condition or a medical problem? Is a man who cross-dresses in need of psychological help? What about a boy who pretends to be a girl in make-believe games and chooses only female playmates?

The nation’s psychiatric establishment is wrestling with these questions, among others, as it works to overhaul its diagnostic manual for the first time in almost two decades. Advocates have spent years lobbying the American Psychiatric Association to rewrite or even remove the categories typically used to diagnose transgender people, arguing that terms like Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism promote discrimination by broad-brushing a diverse population with the stigma of mental illness.

“The label of mental defectiveness really places a burden on trans people to continually prove our competence in our affirmed roles,” Kelley Winters, a Colorado scholar who has helped lead the push for changes, said.

Although the association’s new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is not scheduled to be printed until the end of the year, the updates are taking shape after three rounds of proposed changes. Professionals who have been part of or closely observing the amendment process say the latest wording, while not going as far as many advocates wanted, respects the broader shift in society’s understanding and acceptance of what it means to be transgender since the last major revision of the manual was published in 1994.

“All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context,” New York psychiatrist Jack Drescher, a member of the APA subcommittee working on the issue, said. “We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories (of male and female.) We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”

The most symbolic change under consideration so far for the manual’s fifth edition, known as the DSM-V for short, is a new name for Gender Identity Disorder, the diagnosis now given to adults, adolescents and children with “a strong and persistent cross-gender identification.” In the manual’s next incarnation, individuals displaying “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” would be diagnosed instead with “Gender Dysphoria,” a term that comes from the Greek word for emotional distress.

Continue reading at:  http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5igREEZVPoKaNrYGbPi_5m11DRblA?docId=b90d772912ff4657908e53a9f90bd963

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U.S. Poverty On Track To Rise To Highest Since 1960s

From Huffington Post:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/us-poverty-level-1960s_n_1692744.html

By Hope Yen
07/22/12

WASHINGTON — The ranks of America’s poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.

The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.

Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty, including in such political battlegrounds as Colorado, Florida and Nevada, where voters are coping with a new norm of living hand to mouth.

“I grew up going to Hawaii every summer. Now I’m here, applying for assistance because it’s hard to make ends meet. It’s very hard to adjust,” said Laura Fritz, 27, of Wheat Ridge, Colo., describing her slide from rich to poor as she filled out aid forms at a county center. Since 2000, large swaths of Jefferson County just outside Denver have seen poverty nearly double.

Fritz says she grew up wealthy in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, but fortunes turned after her parents lost a significant amount of money in the housing bust. Stuck in a half-million dollar house, her parents began living off food stamps and Fritz’s college money evaporated. She tried joining the Army but was injured during basic training.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/us-poverty-level-1960s_n_1692744.html

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America’s corn farmers high and dry as hope withers with their harvest

From The Guardian UK:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/22/americas-corn-farmers-dry-harvest

Brutal mix of triple-digit temperatures and lack of rain forces farmers in the corn belt to consider abandoning entire crop

in Cloverdale, Indiana
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 22 July 2012

The worst drought in a generation is hitting farmers across America’s corn belt far harder than government projections and forcing them to a heart-breaking decision: harvest what’s left of their shrivelled acres or abandon their entire crop.

For Mike Buis, pictured, who farms in west-central Indiana, the most he could hope for, his best-case scenario, was saving one-third of his crop.

“I’d be tickled to death if it would make 50 bushels (1.5 tonnes), if we don’t have rain,” he said. Most of his crop was a write-off, and Buis was already looking ahead to next year.

“Some stuff technically is not going to be worth the combine bill to harvest it,” he said. “This is my 49th crop, and I have never had a year like this.”

Such individual calculations are replicated thousands of times across the 1,336 counties – about a third of the country – that are now officially a disaster zone, because of a brutal combination of triple-digit (40C) temperatures and prolonged drought. Scientists see both as evidence of climate change.

Buis has seen no rain on his 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) since 28 May. Some stalks are chin-high – but with no ears of corn. Others are as squat as pineapple fronds. Soy bean that should be spread out at knee-level barely graze the shin.

The additional crop failures are set to push corn and soy bean prices upward of today’s all-time high. Corn prices have risen by about 40% in the last few weeks, soybeans by about 25%.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/22/americas-corn-farmers-dry-harvest

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Mitt Romney in 2007 on Porno Filters

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Mitt’s Offshore Shenanigans: The Bigger Story

From Inequality.org:     http://inequality.org/mitts-offshore-shenanigans-tax-havens/

Our official wealth stats  vastly understate the actual extent of  current inequality, says a landmark new study on global tax havens.

by Sam Pizzigati
July 22, 2012

Are America’s rich getting richer? They’re certainly making much more than ever before. Every official income measure we have shows that America’s most affluent are upping their incomes at a much faster clip than everyone else.

How fast? Between 1980 and 2010, notes an analysis of IRS tax data this past spring by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, incomes for America’s top 1 percent more than doubled, after inflation, to an average $1.02 million.

Average incomes for the nation’s top 0.1 percent, over that same span, more than tripled, and at the tippy top of America’s economic summit — the top 0.01 percent — average incomes more than quadrupled, to $23.8 million in 2010.

And what about the rest of us? After inflation, average incomes for America’s bottom 90 percent actually fell — by 4.8 percent — between 1980 and 2010. Americans in this 90 percent averaged $31,337 in 1980, only $29,840 in 2010.

We have to go back to the late 1920s, right before the Great Depression, to find an income divide this wide between America’s rich and everybody else.

Income stats tell us how much people make. Wealth stats, by contrast, tell us how much people have. The two, common sense tells us, ought to be related. If incomes are becoming much more unequal over time, then the distribution of our national wealth ought to be becoming much more unequal, too.

Continue reading at:  http://inequality.org/mitts-offshore-shenanigans-tax-havens/

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