DEBATE: Anti-Gay Marriage Activist Calls Gay Rights Activist Dangerous

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Radical Feminist Insane Vanguardism

I late 1969, a couple of months before three people in the Weatherman Faction blew themselves to bits, Bernadine Dohrn gave a rant that should have been a warning sign to anyone involved in Weatherman, thatthe leadership had strayed into the realm of the insane.

In her rant at the Flint War Council meeting Bernadine Dohrn praised the Manson Family and their insanity.

A month or so later a number of feminists led by Robin Morgan took over the East Village underground paper, RAT.  Robin Morgan dropped her rant, Good-bye to all that, upon the world.

Now as rants go, Good-bye to all that, was a truly great world class rant. Unfortunately it didn’t wear all that well.

For one thing Robin Morgan winds up matching Bernadine Dohrn by embracing Valerie Solanis, the woman who tried to murder Andy Warhol.

At the time Andy Warhol was a leading figure in 20th century American Art, experimenting in various media and someone who was a major contributor to the Sixties zeitgeist.

Valerie Solanis’ main claim to fame was writing SCUM Manifesto, a poorly written psychotic rant, more a pamphlet than a book, which argued for the elimination of men.

I watched in dismay as SCUM Manifesto became part of the radical feminist canon.

From Wikipedia:  “She was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and pled guilty to “reckless assault with intent to harm”, serving a three-year prison sentence, including psychiatric hospital time. After her release, she continued to promote the SCUM Manifesto, initiating modern radical feminism. She died in 1988 of pneumonia, in San Francisco, California.”

While she was lionized by radical feminists she died alone.  Seems shooting one of the major figures in 20th century art made people a tad antsy about giving her a place to crash and so she was homeless at the time of her death.

It seems like several of the radical feminists who wrote works that were taken extremely seriously in the feminist canon had bouts with mental illness, that were serious enough to merit institutionalization.

Shulamith Firestone’s Dialectic of Sex is another work in the canon and she was institutionalized with schizophrenia and spent the last thirty years of her life living in solitude and on medication.

Where was the feminist support network?

BTW I tried to reread Shulie’s book a few years ago and all I could think was this sure read better back when I was getting stoned.

Cristin Williams has a piece up about  BeBe J. Scarpie and her encounter with Jill Johnston, a radical feminist lesbian author:   See: 1974: RadFems and Trans Folk

BEBE INFILTRATES FEMINIST CONFERENCE

At a recent feminist conference, drag queen Bebe J. Scarpie successfully was able to infiltrate the question line, from which men were excluded, in order to challenge Jill Johnston, the radicalesbian columnist. Miss Johnston, is primarily noted for a recent letter to the National Organization of Women, in which she proposed that mothers neglect to care for male babies. She also attacked drag actress Holly Woodlawn, when the latter was making a public appearance. At this conference she wanted to allow only those males necessary for artificial insemination to exist. Bebe accused Jill of being a a Neo fascist and dictating to women as well as men. At this point however, a radicalesbian recognized her from previous encounters, and screamed out, “Jill don’t answer it’s a male Question.” The audience, composed 50% of college students and 50% of Jill’s entourage, was left In total amazement. It was interesting since with their close cropped hair and full denim outfits, the radical women were more transvestites than Bebe!

Finally one of the straight women present. picked up Bebe’s line of questioning. Jill again demonstrated an inability to build any logic sequence of thoughts and she succeeded in boring half the college students into leaving while she was trying to explain that sleeping with a male made a woman a male, to which this straight sister replied then it made her boyfriend a woman.

It was overheard by one of Babe’s friends that the radical panel had muttered that they couldn’t believe this was happening to them. Drag Power!

Jill Johnston’s books also seemed quite whack when I tried to read them some thirty years later.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that those people with the most radical sounding rants are part of the problem not part of the solution.

The radical feminists in the 1970s treated transsexual and transgender people like dog shit.

Today the texts that were part of the foundation of their ideology often seem really pretty disturbed.

While those feminists who were condemned as reformers and sell outs still have followers.

Lately the folks over at RadFem Hub decided that Pussy Riot doesn’t deserve feminist support.  Partly because they rightfully have the support of mixed sex groups like Amnesty International and numerous other human rights advocated in the media, some of whom happen to be male.

Also perhaps because they discovered that many TS/TG Bloggers support them.

See:  Pussy Riot: whose freedom, whose riot?

One thing that seems to have them upset is Pussy Riot’s use of the word “pussy.”  Any proper radfem who has has politically correct gene therapy would see the obvious problem.  The should have used the name Vagina riot instead.

Now I consider the vanguardism of the RadFem set to be reactionary rather than progressive.  Elitist rather than inclusive.

It is exactly the crap that killed Feminism in the 1970s.

Why would anyone in their right mind want to join a movement that promises to combine puritanism with Stalinism?

 

The next fight in gender rights

From The New York Daily News:  http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/fight-gender-rights-article-1.1148264

A tennis great who shattered stereotypes says New York can do more to combat discrimination

By / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Friday, August 31, 2012

Almost 40 years ago, Bobby Riggs and I played what was called the “Battle of the Sexes.”

He was a former No. 1 player in the world, but as a 55- year-old man, he was well past his prime — and I was at the height of my tennis career. Still, the notion that a woman could win a match against a male opponent was seen as laughable.

Riggs thought so, telling Time magazine: “Billie Jean King is one of the all-time tennis greats, she’s one of the superstars, she’s ready for the big one, but she doesn’t stand a chance against me.”

He was wrong, of course. But my victory was also more than just a point of athletic pride — it was about social change, part of a growing movement to convince society that women were the equals of men. Today, things are definitely better, with a few women rising to the top in politics and the corporate world.

But there is still progress to be made and battles to be fought.

More than tennis, I am concerned with equality for all, which is why I’m calling for my fellow New Yorkers to support a law that would offer transgender persons the protections the rest of us take for granted.

Known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, the proposed law would explicitly ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression. It would primarily help transgender individuals, people who identify their gender differently from what is traditionally associated with the sex assigned at birth.

It should go without saying that all New Yorkers — including transgender New Yorkers — deserve to be treated fairly and equally by the law. But too often, they are not.

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Say

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Transgender Activist Janet Mock to Give Keynote at LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pierre-r-berastain/janet-mock-lgbtq-youth-empowerment-conference_b_1841281.html


08/30/2012

Janet Mock, People.comStaff Editor and nationally renowned transgender activist, will give the keynote address at the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition’s 2012 LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference. The free conference, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., educates and inspires LGBTQ youth of color under the age of 25 to use their ideas, knowledge, and skills so that they can create personal and social change.

Mock, a transgender woman of color, uses media as a platform to explore and challenge “society’s limited portrait of womanhood.” Her #GirlsLikeUs campaign empowers trans women to speak up and out about their experiences and lives.

With school back in session, the LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference is an important opportunity to create dialogue about what it takes to help LGBTQ youth of color be informed and aware of resources, make healthy and safe decisions about the way they live their lives, and feel supported by the greater community.

According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s 2009 report “Shared Differences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students of Color in Our Nation’s Schools,” across all non-white racial and ethnic groups, sexual orientation and gender expression were the most common reasons LGBT students of color reported feeling unsafe in school. The report also highlights how verbal harassment, physical violence, and/or discrimination because of sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or race/ethnicity often have more negative effects on the classroom performance and overall attendance of LGBTQ youth of color than their white counterparts.

As a transgender woman of color, Mock understands and empathizes with the struggles LGBTQ-identified youth experience. “In my freshman year of high school, I began transitioning from Charles to Janet. So I had a choice to make. I could pretend to be something I was not, butch up and blend in with the crowd, or I could fight the hardest fight there is: stick out and live my truth and be my authentic self. I chose the latter.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pierre-r-berastain/janet-mock-lgbtq-youth-empowerment-conference_b_1841281.html

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Trans woman shot to death in Miami — police lacking leads

From Guerrilla Angel Report: http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/trans-woman-shot-to-death-in-miami-police-lacking-leads/

By Lexie Cannes
August 29, 2012

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Miami Police say Dewayne “Deja” Jones was shot to death Sunday morning. Neighbors heard gunshots and shouting — including someone yelling “give me your purse!” Jones was killed 7 blocks from where Jones lived, reportedly hanging out with a friend.

The police released a recent picture of Jones, asking for the public’s help, citing a lack of leads. They are also trying to determine if it was a hate crime. The police also say the shooter probably did not want Jones to survive.

It was reported that Jones previously served time in prison and was recently cited for carrying a concealed weapon. Jones had also recently moved into the area.

The police also noted that another trans person was assulted, but survived. It is not clear if this is related to the same shooting.

This is pretty much all the info on the shooting at this time.

(Trigger warning — misuse of pronouns) Exclusive: Miami Police Look For Killer Of Transvestite « CBS Miami.

 

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Ethics Complaint Filed In Anti-Gay Regnerus Scandal

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/ethics-complaint-filed-in-anti-gay-regnerus-scandal/news/2012/08/31/47743

by Scott Rose
on August 31, 2012

Reposted with Permission

Mark Regnerus is an anti-gay-rights figure at the University of Texas at Austin.

The NOM-linked anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute gave Regnerus $785,000 to execute a study ostensibly, but not actually, on gay parents’ child outcomes.

The legitimate scientific community is united in concerns about the Regnerus study’s lack of intellectual integrity, and the fact that prior to publication, the study did not receive ethical and appropriate professional peer review.

Brad Wilcox is a Witherspoon Institute official. He also serves on the editorial board of the journal that published the Regnerus study, Social Science Research.

Wilcox had proven fiduciary conflicts of interest in serving as a paid Regnerus study consultant and also, apparently, as a peer reviewer of the Regnerus paper.

There follows a COMPLAINT against Brad Wilcox, filed with the American Sociological Association:

Dear Dr. Hillsman:

In this COMPLAINT, I shall make allegations against ASA member Dr. Brad Wilcox (aka W. Bradford Wilcox); Wilcox has egregiously violated the ASA’s Code of Ethics.

Wilcox is associated with:

1) The University of Virginia  (Director, The National Marriage Project; Associate Professor, Sociology)

2) The Witherspoon Institute   (Director, Program on Family, Marriage and Democracy; Editorial Board Member, Witherspoon’s “Public Discourse”)

3  Elsevier journal Social Science Research (Editorial Board Member)

These allegations relate to Wilcox’s unethical behavior involving a study by ASA member Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin; “The New Family Structures Study.”

Salient, documented facts of the matter include:

1) Wilcox’s Witherspoon Institute is the chief funder of the Regnerus study;

2) Wilcox, an editorial board member of Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study, served as both a paid Regnerus study consultant and a peer reviewer of the Regnerus study;

3) After the sociological and scientific communities united in expressing concerns about the intellectual integrity of the Regnerus study, and about the suspicious process by which it was approved for publication, Wilcox signed a letter in support of the Regnerus study, which letter was promulgated by Baylor University, and which letter contains many deliberate distortions of the scientific record

WILCOX’S SPECIFIC VIOLATIONS OF THE ASA’S CODE OF ETHICS:

1)

Number 1 of the ASA’s Code of Ethics, “Professional and Scientific Standards” says that sociologists: “rely on scientifically and professionally derived knowledge; act with honesty and integrity; and avoid untrue, deceptive, or undocumented statements in undertaking work-related functions or activities.”

Where Wilcox as I) a highly-placed official with Witherspoon, which funded the Regnerus study; II) acted as both a paid study consultant and peer reviewer of the Regnerus study for the journal Social Science Research, where he is an editorial board member, Wilcox failed to act “with honesty and integrity.” In acting as both a Regnerus study consultant and peer reviewer, Wilcox had multiple fiduciary conflicts of interest. As a paid study consultant, he had a conflict of interest in being a peer reviewer, because paid study consultants want studies for which they have consulted to be published so that their services as paid consultants will be in high demand. Moreover, the Witherspoon Institute as the chief funder of the Regnerus study is promoting it very aggressively, in anti-gay-rights political contexts, at least in part to be able to stimulate additional donations to Witherspoon; Wilcox as a paid Witherspoon official therefore had that additional fiduciary conflict of interest in acting as both a Regnerus study consultant and peer reviewer.

2) Number 1 of the ASA’s Code of Ethics, “Professional and Scientific Standards” says that sociologists: “rely on scientifically and professionally derived knowledge; act with honesty and integrity; and avoid untrue, deceptive, or undocumented statements in undertaking work-related functions or activities.”

In signing the Baylor University letter in support of the Regnerus study, Wilcox did not avoid deceptive statements, or act with honesty and integrity.

The Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion letter in support of the Regnerus study was promulgated to counter the legitimate scientific community’s expressions of concern about the intellectual integrity of the Regnerus study, which Wilcox’s anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute had funded. The Baylor letter incorporates multiple deliberate distortions of the scientific record, in a propagandizing and fraudulent attempt, scientifically to legitimate the Regnerus study to the public; an example of such a distortion will be given below.

The lead signer of the Baylor letter, Baylor ISR Director Byron Johnson, like Wilcox is an official with the Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study. Two additional Witherspoon officials signed the Baylor letter; none of them disclosed their direct connection to the funding of the Regnerus study. Wilcox had a fiduciary conflict of interest in signing the Baylor letter and therefore should at least have disclosed that conflict of interest. The Witherspoon Institute is heavily engaged in promoting the Regnerus study and through promotions of its activities hopes to solicit and receive monetary donations to the Witherspoon Institute.

Here is but one example of the distortions of the scientific record contained in the Baylor letter. In its sixth paragraph, the Baylor letter alleges that the Regnerus study’s findings parallel findings of Daniel Potter’s paper “Same-Sex Parent Families and Children’s Academic Achievement,” which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

The aim of the Baylor letter signers in alleging that the Potter study’s findings “parallel” those of the Regnerus study was this; Regnerus alleges to have proven correlation between same-sex parents and bad child outcomes; not only does the scientific community question whether Regnerus proved such correlations; it questions whether he actually studied children of “same-sex parents.” The majority of Regnerus’s test group respondents were born to and substantially raised by married couples of opposite genders; their parents therefore are their mothers and fathers; they do not have “same-sex parents,” though that term is written into the Regnerus study. The Baylor letter signers hoped to make the public believe that like Regnerus, Potter is alleging that he proved correlation between same-sex parents and bad child outcomes.

However, Potter in reality says that the differences his study found between children of same-sex parents and children of heterosexual parents are “nonsignificant net of family transitions.” The Baylor letter quotes from the very same sentence in which Potter says that the differences he found are “nonsignificant net of family transitions” but truncates the sentence, not including the phrase “nonsignificant net of family transitions,” and then the Baylor letter tacks on language clearly intended to get the public to believe that the differences Potter found were not “nonsignificant” but rather, significant.

The Baylor letter misrepresents the scientific record that is the Potter study in other ways. For example, the Baylor letter alleges that the children Potter studied had same-sex parents who “lived together.” In documented reality, however, Potter’s data came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten cohort(ECLS – K). That data does not allow a researcher scientifically to determine whether parents of the children studied are “same-sex parents” living together.  Potter speculated that some of his study subjects’ parents might have been same-sex parents living together, on the basis of unsound methods. What is more is that even supposing that some of Potter’s study subjects’ parents were actually “same-sex parents,” the Baylor letter is demonizing of actual same-sex parents by implying that same-sex parents who live together have scientifically been proven to correlate to bad child outcomes, though Potter says that differences found are “nonsignificant net of family transitions.”  If same-sex parents truly are living together, then there are no family transitions, are there?  The Potter study did not purport to compare stable gay-headed families with stable heterosexual-headed families. But the Baylor letter made a point of telling the public that Potter’s same-sex parents lived together and correlated to bad child outcomes.

The Baylor letter verifiably does distort the scientific record in an attempt to mislead the public about the Regnerus study. On multiple counts, Wilcox violated the ASA’s Code of Ethics by signing the Baylor letter. It must be mentioned in passing that Baylor University views homosexuality in a non-scientific manner. It thus is not appropriate for a sociologist to sign his name to a letter distorting the scientific record on studies involving homosexual persons. For reference, in a New York Times article about gay students at Christian colleges, a Baylor spokesperson said “Baylor expects students not to participate in advocacy groups promoting an understanding of sexuality that is contrary to biblical teaching.” And, in November, 2011, Baylor University was criticized for hosting a special sociology course of study titled Homosexuality as a Gateway Drug.

While individual schools, and individuals, might have first amendment rights to demonize homosexuals, doing so is inconsistent with many points of the ASA’s Code of Ethics, as promulgating demonizing lies against homosexuals as a class of persons is inconsistent with scientific knowledge about homosexuality. In signing his name to a letter containing deliberate distortions of the scientific record, in favor of a study his organization The Witherspoon Institute funded and is promoting in anti-gay-rights political contexts, Wilcox should have considered what the “Baylor University” brand represents vis-a-vis scientific knowledge of homosexuality, and civilized, respectful treatment of homosexual persons.

3)Section 10 of the ASA’s Code of Ethics is titled “Public Communications.” The section is introduced with: “Sociologists adhere to the highest professional standards in public communications about their professional services, credentials and expertise, work products, or publications, whether these communications are from themselves or from others.”

This allegation involves publication of an essay by Robert Oscar Lopez about the Regnerus study on the Witherspoon Institute’s venue “Public Discourse,” where Wilcox is an editorial board member. Since shortly after the publication of the Regnerus study, Lopez had been making comments on multiple internet sites, expressing irrational prejudices against gay persons in support of the Regnerus study. Regnerus saw Lopez’s comments and contacted Lopez first, to commence a correspondence with him about the study and “LGBT issues.” Shortly thereafter, an essay by Lopez appeared on Witherspoon’s “Public Discourse.” The Lopez essay is full of harsh, negative, and sometimes ridiculous judgments and inferences against gay people. For example, Lopez, who alleges he was raised by a lesbian mother, complains that he spoke with a lisp, and that the reason for his lisp was that he did not have any male role models. More seriously, the Lopez essay contains multiple misrepresentations of what the Regnerus study says. All of those misrepresentations are skewed in the direction of inciting readers against gay rights.

Wilcox, with editorial authority over Witherspoon’s “Public Discourse,” violates the ASA’s Code of Ethics, which says that “Sociologists adhere to the highest professional standards in public communications about their . . . . publications, whether these communications are from themselves or from others.”

Furthermore, Section 3 of the ASA’s Code of Ethics, “Representation and Misuse of Expertise,” letter (d), says: “If sociologists learn of misuse or misrepresentation of their work, they take reasonable steps to correct or minimize the misuse or misrepresentation.”

The Lopez essay, with its distortions of what the Regnerus study says, is being publicized to the four corners of the earth, largely by Wilcox’s Witherspoon Institute and/or Witherspoon officials who also have authority at other anti-gay-rights organizations.  Neither Regnerus nor Wilcox have made any effort to correct Lopez’s false statements about what the Regnerus study says. Regnerus appears to have recruited Lopez for the purpose of cultivating him for promotions of the Regnerus study. Documentation should be examined to determine which Witherspoon figures were involved in processing the Lopez essay through to publication. Wilcox should have made an effort to correct to the public the very widely disseminated distortions of Regnerus made in the Lopez essay published on the Witherspoon site. But additionally, Wilcox in association with Witherspoon would have had multiple fiduciary conflicts of interest in promoting the Regnerus study through “Public Discourse,” as Wilcox served as both a paid Regnerus study consultant and a Regnerus study peer reviewer.  If Wilcox personally was directly involved in processing the Lopez essay through to publication, then he was, essentially, promoting his services as a paid study consultant. That the Lopez essay verifiably contains distortions of what the Regnerus study says, makes especially troubling that Wilcox would in any way promote his study consultant services by means of that scientifically inaccurate vehicle.

Upon request, I shall furnish further matches between Wilcox’s behavior and items listed in the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics.

Sincerely,

Scott Rose

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Ryan’s Diet of Whoppers

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/ryans_diet_of_whoppers_20120831/

By Eugene Robinson
Posted on Aug 31, 2012

TAMPA, Fla.—Has there ever been a more dishonest presidential campaign than the one Republicans are waging right now?

That’s a serious question, and it adds poignancy to the tragicomic spectacle of this frankly ridiculous gathering. The one indisputable truth we hear from speaker after speaker at the Republican National Convention is that this is a consequential election. The country faces huge challenges and fundamental choices, and the two major parties have very different ideas about the way forward.

Anyone familiar with this column knows that I prefer the progressive vision over the conservative one. But I believe it’s not possible for the nation to set a course without a vigorous, honest debate—and I know there can be no such contest of ideas without agreement on factual truth.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night was another demonstration that he and presidential nominee Mitt Romney have no apparent respect for the truth. Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, boasted this week that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” I’ll say.

Ryan built his career on a reputation for wonkish immersion in the details and willingness to tell uncomfortable truths. But in his address to the convention he lied and dissembled so shamelessly that I thought I detected a whiff of desperation in the air. Or maybe it was just ambition.

The whopper with which those pesky fact-checkers are having a field day is Ryan’s attempt to blame President Obama for the shutdown of a huge General Motors plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wis. Ryan’s point of reference was a visit Obama made to the plant during the 2008 campaign.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/ryans_diet_of_whoppers_20120831/

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How the Main Stream Media Helps the GOP Big Lie

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Life After My Family Lost Everything

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/corbyn-hightower/poverty-in-america_b_1837408.html


08/29/2012

Popular wisdom teaches us that making changes slowly and deliberately is the only way the new ways will stick. You can do a month-long liquid diet and lose an easy thirty pounds, but without achingly steady, determined steps over a long time, new patterns won’t gain a necessary foothold. These hard economic times haven’t been a flash or a blip — something we’d suffer and move through like a quick removal of a bandage — instead, it’s been a gradual insistent grind, with no real end in sight.

This recession has changed us. It’s radicalized and marginalized my family and my friends. The Big Picture — on a national, political scale — is surely too complex for me to understand. I actually understand a lot less about everything now, anyway. One thing I thought I knew: if you go to a good college and you are good at your job, if you’re smart and ambitious and valuable to your employers, then you will build success upon success. You will be a productive participant in the chug-chug of the economic train as it speeds reliably down the track of capitalist democracy. You’ll raise kids who will reap the benefits of that work, and you will know peace because you are doing the morally defensible thing by working hard and providing for your family.

My comfy position in outside sales was eliminated within weeks of Wall Street’s 2008 crash. My family’s economic downfall was set in motion then and, though we didn’t know it at the time, the course of events was as sure as a pinball sliding into its ready position. Things would never be the same for us. In spite of Herculean effort over the course of the next few years, we were unable to regain the sort of salaried, ambition-driven positions we’d previously enjoyed. It wouldn’t get better, not for our family or almost anyone we knew.

We didn’t see that at first. At the beginning — as friends and family became unemployed or underemployed, as people close to us lost their retirement income, their investments, or their homes — back then we were desperate to get back to the old ways. As I sold the family car, and weathered a cancer scare without the health insurance that full-time employment brought me, and when the rental we lived in started veering headlong into foreclosure procedures, during all that I was tearfully desperate to get back, for myself and my family.

Slowly though, what seemed unfathomable, and then temporary, became permanent. We’d had a nest egg, as did a lot of people I know. But all around us, nest eggs broke open and a whole new culture emerged: we came out of it a bunch of chicken-farming, bike-riding, car-sharing, bartering, freelance DIY-types who are communally raising our under-scheduled kids. As for me, I shed my own corporate drag and morphed into a the joyful creative writer my career path had stifled. I had been a busy, well-paid sales executive, high heels clicking purposefully through airport terminals, rushing to make the flight for yet another business trip. I feel like, in the last few years, I’ve become sort of a recession-borne, moon-dwelling fairy cosmonaut, wearing spangled cloaks and silver superhero boots. One thing’s for sure: I’m here for my kids, I’m doing good things, and I’m participating in my community. There are no conference rooms, no fancy hotels, no quarterly sales reports or industry expos where we’d “network” during “meet-and-greets.” But in exchange, there’s been a whole lot more berry-picking, patching holes on torn clothing, and making-do.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/corbyn-hightower/poverty-in-america_b_1837408.html

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The Medicare Killers

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/opinion/Krugman.html

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: August 30, 2012

Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night may have accomplished one good thing: It finally may have dispelled the myth that he is a Serious, Honest Conservative. Indeed, Mr. Ryan’s brazen dishonesty left even his critics breathless.

Some of his fibs were trivial but telling, like his suggestion that President Obama is responsible for a closed auto plant in his hometown, even though the plant closed before Mr. Obama took office. Others were infuriating, like his sanctimonious declaration that “the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” This from a man proposing savage cuts in Medicaid, which would cause tens of millions of vulnerable Americans to lose health coverage.

And Mr. Ryan — who has proposed $4.3 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, versus only about $1.7 trillion in specific spending cuts — is still posing as a deficit hawk.

But Mr. Ryan’s big lie — and, yes, it deserves that designation — was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program.

Before I get there, let me just mention that Mr. Ryan has now gone all-in on the party line that the president’s plan to trim Medicare expenses by around $700 billion over the next decade — savings achieved by paying less to insurance companies and hospitals, not by reducing benefits — is a terrible, terrible thing. Yet, just a few days ago, Mr. Ryan was still touting his own budget plan, which included those very same savings.

But back to the big lie. The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/opinion/Krugman.html

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“Legitimate Rape” Pharmaceutical Ad (TW)

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I must serve my clients, the whales

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/31/paul-watson-clients-whales

I can do that far better commanding the Sea Shepherd fleet than I can defending myself from bogus charges by Japan

Paul Watson
guardian.co.uk, Friday 31 August 2012

Each year for the last eight years, I have successfully led high-profile campaigns out of Australia to intervene against the shadowy operations of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary.

These have been extremely dangerous operations in the hostile waters off Antarctica, against a whaling fleet backed by one of the world’s most economically powerful nations.

During this time our ships and crew have been shot at, rammed, one of them sliced in two and destroyed by a Japanese security vessel. At the same time, our tactics have been strategically designed to not cause injury or property damage and to stay within the boundaries of the law.

Most importantly, every Sea Shepherd action has been thoroughly documented for the Animal Planet show, Whale Wars. Although this provides us with the evidence to defend ourselves against bogus accusations, it has also been a source of embarrassment for the Japanese government.

We have demonstrated that their “research” whaling is nothing more than a mask for commercial operations.

The Japanese insist that their shady whaling operations are legal. Australia and many other nations disagree. My position is that they should not be killing whales in a whale sanctuary.

Through cutting kill quotas by blocking their lethal operations, we have reduced kill numbers dramatically, saving more than 4,000 whales and costing the whalers their profits.

Our strategy of blocking the whaling fleet has driven this commercial whaling operation into substantial debt. They have continued to operate only because of massive government subsidies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/31/paul-watson-clients-whales

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Cannibalistic Capitalism and Green Resistance

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/11173-cannibalistic-capitalism-and-green-resistance

By Craig Collins PhD,
Friday, 31 August 2012

In the first installment of this two-part article, we examined the notion that any future without globalization must be an improvement. But globalization and growth only constitute capitalism’s expansionist phase, powered by abundant fossil fuels. As energy becomes scarce, boom turns to bust. But profit-hungry capitalism doesn’t die; it morphs into its zombie-like, undead phase. Growth-less capitalism turns catabolic. The word catabolism is used in biology to refer to the condition whereby a living thing feeds on itself. Thus, catabolic capitalism is a self-cannibalizing system whose insatiable hunger for profit can only be fed by consuming the society that sustains it.[1]As it rampages down the road to ruin, this system gorges itself on one self-inflicted disaster after another. Unless we forestall it, catabolic capitalism will leave its survivors rummaging through the toxic rubble left behind.

Capitalism is adept at exploiting human weaknesses, especially greed and fear. During the period of rapid expansion, greed propels the most lucrative money-making opportunities, while fear comes in second. People are encouraged to take risks, go into debt and spend beyond their means. Speculative bubbles grow rapidly as people try to make it rich on the next big deal. But when boom turns to bust, fear replaces greed as the easiest sentiment on which to play to make a killing. In these troubled times, the most profitable ventures capitalize on scarcity, insecurity and desperation.

In the era of fossil fuel abundance, catabolic capitalists worked the dim back alleys of the growth economy. But, as the productive sector atrophies and the financial sector seizes up, this parasitic sector emerges from the shadows and proliferates rapidly. It thrives off anxiety and hoarding, corruption and crime, conflict and collapse. Catabolic capitalism profits by confiscating and selling off the stranded assets of the bankrupt productive and public sectors, dodging or dismantling legalities and regulations while pocketing taxpayer subsidies, hoarding scarce resources and peddling arms to those fighting over them, and preying upon the utter desperation of people who can no longer find gainful employment elsewhere.

The Green New Deals proposed by eco-optimists like Al Gore, Lester Brown and Jeremy Rifkin are ecotopian pipe dreams unless capitalism’s profit possession is exorcised from the economy. [2] Instead of investing society’s remaining resources into a sustainable recovery and renewal, catabolic capitalism will eat away at society like a cancerous tumor. A malignant alliance of parasitic profiteers, resource cartels and weapons merchants will infect the body politic and poison any effort to prevent them from ransacking the economy and Earth. If society succumbs to their all-consuming thirst for profit, life will become a dismal affair for everyone but them.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/11173-cannibalistic-capitalism-and-green-resistance

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