Obama Campaign Office Shooting: Shot Fired Into Denver Building, None Hurt

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/12/obama-office-shooting-denver_n_1963004.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009


DENVER — Denver police say someone has fired a shot through the window of President Barack Obama’s Denver campaign office.

Police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez says people were inside the office when the shooting happened Friday afternoon, but no one was injured. A large panel of glass was left shattered at the office on West Ninth Avenue near Acoma Street.

Lopez says investigators are looking at surveillance video but have not yet confirmed a description of a vehicle that might be linked to the shooting. Police didn’t immediately release other details while detectives pursue leads.

Lopez says she isn’t aware of any previous threats against the campaign office.

The Secret Service referred questions about the incident to Denver police.

An Obama campaign spokeswoman declined to comment.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Rolling Stones

It has come to my attention that this month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Rolling Stones, “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” playing together. 

How perfect since this month also marks the fiftieth anniversary of my coming out to my parents as a transsexual, even though it took them another eight years to realize I was serious.

I was at the LA show in 1975 and wound up with a scarf Mick was wearing and tossed to a friend of mine.

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Rights group: Trans people could be ‘collateral damage’ in voter ID battle

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/11/rights-group-trans-people-could-be-collateral-damage-in-voter-id-battle/

By David Ferguson
Thursday, October 11, 2012

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) warns transgender Americans that stringent new voter ID laws could exclude them from casting a ballot this November.  Advocates urge transgender people to check and make certain that they are registered and that they have the proper ID needed in their state to vote.

“The right to vote is the right that all the others come from,” NCTE Director Mara Keisling told Raw Story.  ”Voting is really, really  important for marginalized people, because that’s how we affect change.”

And while Keisling does not believe that the network of stringent new voter ID laws that Republicans have imposed in states across the country is intended to disenfranchise trans people specifically, “I actually think we’re collateral damage.  I think there is a party that doesn’t want students to vote, that doesn’t want poor people to vote and doesn’t want people of color to vote,” which they’re trying to accomplish by various means including purging of voter rolls and, in Keisling’s words, “creating an atmosphere of confusion and intimidation” about who is allowed to vote, and when, and where.

She said these suppression efforts include everything “from the confusion of having new laws at the last minute to this organization called True the Vote, whose sole purpose is apparently to intimidate voters. There clearly are efforts this year to keep voting down and trans people are likely to get caught up in that.”

Vincent Villano, also of NCTE, said, “Voter ID laws and laws that require sex reassignment surgery in order to update IDs are barring trans people from voting.  Right now, there are nine states with strict photo ID requirements.  In nearly all of those states, trans people are being told that they have to undergo medical procedures, procedures that cost 20, 30, 40 thousand dollars, procedures that sometimes trans people don’t want to get, or are medically advised not to get so that they can update the ID that they need to vote.”

The 9 states are Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Tennessee. NCTE has put up an information page with links to each state’s voting requirements and more so that trans people can find out what they need to vote.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/11/rights-group-trans-people-could-be-collateral-damage-in-voter-id-battle/

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Sociology Dept. Chair Calls for Retraction of Anti-Gay Regnerus Study

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/sociology-dept-chair-calls-for-retraction-of-anti-gay-regnerus-study/bigotry-watch/2012/10/11/50936

by Scott Rose
on October 11, 2012

Reposted with permission

Two professors of sociology call for  retraction of the Regnerus article and actions against the editor of the Social Science Research Journal 

A hoax study on gay parenting funded by the NOM-linked Witherspoon Institute and marked by deliberate deception and fraud is currently being used as a weapon in the courts and in the 2012 elections.

I asked Dr. Michael Schwartz, Chair of the Sociology Department of Stony Brook University, if he would call for retraction of the Regnerus study, which was published in Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research on June 10, 2012.

In an e-mail response, Dr. Schwartz told me:

“I believe that the journal should retract its acceptance of the article and will sign a collective appeal to Elsevier.  For me, the retraction is needed primarily because the review process was compromised in several critical ways, and that therefore publication as a peer-reviewed publication was and is inappropriate.”

I addition, I have now read and analyzed the article myself, and also read some of the critical (and supportive) commentaries on it.  It seems clear to me that if the article had been properly reviewed, that a whole menu of flaws in the research, in the analysis, and in the interpretation of evidence would make the article unpublishable.

In addition to the many flaws you point to in your commentary, one that I think is among the most salient is failing to report the evidence for children whose biological parents who did not live together until the child was 18, but who did not have gay affairs (that their children knew about).

Also, I think that actions of the editor, James Wright–including the review process, the publication of the article with invited commentaries from collaborators, the subsequent failure to give space to legitimate criticisms of the article, and other editorial misconduct–should be professionally sanctioned.  In addressing Elsevier, I think it would be appropriate to demand that they replace Wright with a new editor who will not violate the norms and values of scholarly publication. ”

Dr. Kenneth Sherrill is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Hunter College, also weighed in on the controversial article.  He told me:

The Publisher and the Editorial Board should be called upon to remove the editor of the journal. He has acted with what seems to me to be extraordinary irresponsibility and dereliction of duty. They should make a public statement of their action and they should publish that statement along with their rationale.” Dr. Sherrill also says: “Most importantly, the journal should publish a special issue on the theory and method of the Regnerus study. The journal has a professional responsibility to make the critiques public.


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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“Black Madam” in court for allegedly killing British tourist with butt injection

From Philly.com:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20121011__quot_Black_Madam_quot__in_courtfor_allegedly_killing_British_tourist_with_butt_injection.html

Philadelphia Daily News
Thu, Oct. 11, 2012

“THE BLACK Madam” offered two types of illegal booty enhancements – bubble butts and teardrops – but what the transgender gothic hip-hop artist gave to one British tourist was death, according to court testimony.

The Black Madam, whose real name is Padge Victoria Windslowe, was held for court Wednesday following her preliminary hearing for murder and related offenses in the February 2011 death of Claudia Aderotimi, 20.

Theresa Gymfi, 22, of London, England, testified about two trips she and Aderotimi made to Philadelphia to get silicone injections in their buttocks from Windslowe, 42, whom they knew only as “Lillian.”

They were introduced to Windslowe by New Jersey resident Scheffe “Sasha” Wilson, whom they met online, Gymfi said. Wilson arranged the enhancement sessions at the Hampton Inn near the airport and charged the girls a $300 referral fee each time.

Wilson allegedly told the girls that Windslowe was a nurse practitioner, even though she has no medical license or training.

Aderotimi and Gymfi first came to Philadelphia for the injections in November 2010.

“Lillian asked us if we’d like a bubble butt or a teardrop,” Gymfi said.

She said they chose bubble butts and Windslowe injected the girls several times in the buttocks and covered up the wounds with cotton balls and Krazy Glue.

Each paid around $2,500, she said. Neither experienced ill effects from the first session, so when they returned for a friend’s birthday trip in February 2012, they scheduled a touch-up with Windslowe through Wilson.

Continue reading at:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20121011__quot_Black_Madam_quot__in_courtfor_allegedly_killing_British_tourist_with_butt_injection.html

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Half Of Reparative Therapy Clients Are Youth

Canada gay ‘cure’ doctor arrested for sexually assaulting men

From Gay Star Newshttp://www.gaystarnews.com/article/canada-gay-cure-doctor-arrested-sexually-assaulting-men101012

A Canadian psychiatrist is to stand on trial for sexually abusing gay patients, he also used discredited aversion therapy on hundreds of South African lesbians and gays army conscripts to ‘cure’ them of their sexuality

By Dan Littauer
10 October 2012

Canadian psychiatrist, Aubrey Levin is to stand on trial next Wednesday, in Calgary, Canada for sexually assaulting 10 male patients.

The prosecution represents gay patients, who were mostly prisoners that were assigned by the Canadian justice system for treatment.

Aubrey Levin, infamously known as ‘Dr Shock’, has subjected hundreds of gay and lesbian soldiers and conscientious objectors in apartheid era South Africa to electric shocks ‘therapy’ in an attempt to ‘cure’ them of their sexuality and ‘devian’t ideas.

The Guardian, a British daily, reported that on Tuesday (9 October), a jury ruled that 73 year-old Levin was fit to stand trial after the defence claimed he was suffering from the early stages of dementia.

In March 2010 the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta suspended Levin’s license over accusations of abuse after a male patient secretly filmed the psychiatrist allegedly making sexual advances.

Levin was consequently arrested; however, earlier complaints by others were ignored by the Canadian authorities.

After his arrest, about 30 other male patients came forward accusing Levin of sexual abuse.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/canada-gay-cure-doctor-arrested-sexually-assaulting-men101012

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Archbishop tells woman to reject gay son or suffer eternal damnation

From LGBTQ Nation:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/10/archbishop-tells-woman-to-reject-gay-son-or-suffer-eternal-damnation/

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — As the battle heats up in Minnesota over a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, there has been renewed outrage by statements expressed by Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt in a 2010 letter to one of his parishioners.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which published Nienstedt’s letter last weekend as part of an article about the prelate’s aggressive efforts in support of the constitutional amendment, reported that the May 2010 letter was in response to a note from “a mother who pleaded for acceptance for her gay child.”

In the letter, Nienstedt wrote that Catholics are obligated to believe the Church’s official teachings on homosexuality, and that “those who do not… ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church,” and advised the mother that her “eternal salvation” could be in jeopardy:

I write to inform you that the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, as described in paragraphs 2357 and 2358 and 2359 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is rooted in Scripture and based on the Natural Moral Law. It, therefore, shares in God’s revelation to us.

Catholics are bound in conscience to believe this teaching. Those who do not cannot consider themselves to be Catholic and ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church. Indeed, some might find this is a hard saying by many of Jesus’ teachings were likewise received as such.

I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed in your letter. Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic.

In a statement Tuesday, Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen called it “appalling that Archbishop Nienstedt chose to issue such an un-Christian response to a vulnerable member of his flock who came to him seeking help. The archbishop’s letter shows just how deeply held his anti-gay views are.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/10/archbishop-tells-woman-to-reject-gay-son-or-suffer-eternal-damnation/

Freed Pussy Riot member pledges to continue protests

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/oct/11/pussy-riot-freed-member-protests

Yekaterina Samutsevich claims they will ‘deceive the authorities’ to perform again and denies any split in the group’s ranks

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 11 October 2012

Pussy Riot‘s Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was freed from prison on 10 October, has declared that the Russian punk band will continue mounting protest concerts. “We are not finished,” she said in her first interview since leaving jail. “We [just] have to somehow get round the authorities to deceive them in some clever way.”

Although two of Samutsevich’s bandmates remain behind bars, the 30-year-old shows no sign of abandoning the movement that turned the three women into enemies of the Russian state. She has reunited with other members of the protest group, telling reporters that Pussy Riot is “more united than ever … fighting for the freedom of Masha and Nadia!”

In an interview last night with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Samutsevich underlined Pussy Riot’s plan to continue. “[We are not] going to end our political protest,” she said. “The situation in the country has deteriorated since our performance and the trial itself is a testimony to that.” They will just be “more cautious”, Samutsevich explained, in light of Vladimir Putin’s “mega authoritarian project”.

“We have to act in such a way so that they do not know, do not learn about the concerts ahead of time before it’s too soon, so that we wouldn’t be caught and jailed afterward,” she said.

During her imprisonment, Samutsevich said, she and the other sentenced Pussy Riot members were kept in separate holding cells, each with three or four other women. “We were always recorded; we were always on camera,” she said, but they were never abused and she “never felt scared”. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who have been ordered to serve their two-year prison sentences, are “very, very upset” about being taken away from their young children. “But they are holding up very well.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/oct/11/pussy-riot-freed-member-protests

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Paul Ryan and His Many Methods of Misrepresentation

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They Are Coming for Your Birth Control: “Contraception Doesn’t Reduce Abortion Even If Some Study Says It Does”

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/10/11/they-are-coming-your-birth-control-birth-control-access-doesnt-reduce-abortion-ev

by Robin Marty, Senior Political Reporter, RH Reality Check
October 11, 2012

Note: Think that anti-choice politicians and activists aren’t trying to outlaw contraception?  Think again.  Follow along in an ongoing series that proves beyond a doubt that they really are coming for your birth control.

Access to contraception reduces unintended pregnancies. Preventing pregnancy reduces unintended pregnancy… It’s pretty simple. If women and their partners want to prevent pregnancy, there is much less chance there will be… a pregnancy.

This shouldn’t be something that needs to be debated. Yet somehow, we are still doing it. The most threatening development to the anti-choice movement now is the newest study showing unsurprisingly that when women are offered more access to contraception, especially longer-term contraception, the abortion rate goes down. The study was conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and published October 4th in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. You know… peer-reviewed and stuff. Now it’s time for the birth control opponents to do what they do the best—dispute the study.

Michael New writes at LifeNews that the study is flawed; according to him, it wasn’t long enough, and it had the audacity to compare the rates of unintended pregnancy among the demographics of the population participating to the rate of unintended pregnancy among the demographic that didn’t participate.

However, the most convoluted explanation of why the study doesn’t prove anything is his rational that the participants were “self-selecting.”

Each of the 9,256 participants in the study was a volunteer. As such, women in the study very likely had a stronger desire to avoid a future pregnancy than women who declined to participate. Most research indicates that a desire to avoid pregnancy has a significant impact on the likelihood of becoming pregnant. As such, comparing the abortion rate and the birth rate of study participants to national and state averages is a flawed comparison. A better idea would have been to randomly select some percentage of the volunteers, inform them that they were not going to receive free contraception, but continue to track their births and abortions in exchange for some compensation. That would have allowed for a meaningful comparison between a treatment group and a control group.

Of course, the participants willingly took part. No one is forcing birth control on people who don’t want to be on it, either in the program or in the general population overall.  That’s the whole point of the no co-pay birth control mandate that is part of the Affordable Care Act—access to birth control FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO PREVENT PREGNANCY.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/10/11/they-are-coming-your-birth-control-birth-control-access-doesnt-reduce-abortion-ev

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Today, A Promise to Girls

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/11-3

by Desmond Tutu and Ela Bhatt
Published on Thursday, October 11, 2012 by Common Dreams

oday is our human family’s first-ever International Day of the Girl.

This is a day to celebrate the fact that it is girls who will change the world; that the empowerment of girls holds the key to development and security for families, communities and societies worldwide. It also recognizes the discrimination and violence that girls disproportionately endure — and it is especially important that one of the cruelest hardships to befall girls, child marriage, should be the UN’s chosen theme for this inaugural day.

The marriage of adolescent girls, sometimes to much older men, sums up much of the harm, injustice and stolen potential that afflict so many girls around the world.

Ten million girls under the age of 18 are married off, every year, with little or no say in the matter. That’s 100 million girls in the next decade. Their parents may feel they are doing the right thing to protect their daughters, but in reality these brides will be vulnerable to ill health, violence, inadequate education and poverty — as will their children.

Imagine, instead, the wonderful force we would unleash if these girls could be spared such a life.

They would be more likely to stay in school. Studies have shown that when girls stay longer in primary school, they earn wages up to 10 to 20 percent higher in their adult lives. As they get older, the differences in earnings are even more encouraging: For every extra year in secondary school, they can earn up to 25 percent more in adulthood.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/11-3

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GOP Congressman’s Outrageous Father-to-Son Lesson: Women “Rape So Easy”

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/gop-congressmans-outrageous-father-son-lesson-women-rape-so-easy

Wisconsin rep. endorsed by Paul Ryan blames women for being so darn rape-able.

By Laura Gottesdiener
October 11, 2012

A Wisconsin freshman representative is watching his re-election chances plummet as his comments that “some women rape easy” begin to circulate in the media, fueling another round of outrage over the GOP’s seeming blatant ignorance about women’s health and safety.

Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) made the statement last December, explaining that as a young boy his father had scared him into pre-marital sex by telling him that “some women rape easy,” which is apparently bro-talk for the widespread phenomenon of women consenting to sex at night only to turn around the next morning and cry rape. The comments are drawing attention now, almost ten months later, because Rivard is in a tight race against Democratic challenger Stephen Smith over the state representative seat and because Rivard has been endorsed by GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

Rivard has complained that his comments were taken out of context since they were first published in a local town newspaper, The Chetek Alert, after the representative commented on the case of a high school senior being charged with sexual assault for having sex with a girl under 18, which is the legal age for consent in Wisconsin.

Rivard attempted to clarify his words to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday:“[My father] also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ ” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/gop-congressmans-outrageous-father-son-lesson-women-rape-so-easy

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Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ Medical License May Be At Risk From Affair With Patient

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/scott-desjarlais-medical-license_n_1958132.html


WASHINGTON — Even if Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) manages to win reelection, his job as a doctor in the Volunteer State could be in jeopardy after a phone transcript has revealed him pressuring his patient and mistress to get an abortion.

In the transcript, first reported Wednesday by The Huffington Post, DesJarlais cajoles his mistress, whom he met on the job, to abort a pregnancy he suspected was the result of their affair. The woman was under DesJarlais’ care for a foot injury, and in their conversation they discuss how their relationship began after DesJarlais called her to check in on her progress.

They argue about which one of them actually started the indiscretion, but medical ethics guidelines suggest that any patient-doctor sexual relationship is out of bounds.

Neither DesJarlais nor his campaign have disputed the facts of the call, merely calling the news, which broke Wednesday, “old.”

According to the guidelines of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, the state would consider any violation of the American Medical Association’s ethics rules to be also a violation of state ethics rules.

In the case of a sexual relationship with a patient, the AMA has very little gray area. According to the AMA, “Sexual contact that occurs concurrent with the patient-physician relationship constitutes sexual misconduct.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/scott-desjarlais-medical-license_n_1958132.html

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After Decades of Uranium Mining, Navajo Nation Struggles With Legacy of Contamination

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Big Coal Wins Latest Battle to Blast Historic Blair Mountain

From Appalachian Voices:   http://appvoices.org/2012/10/09/big-coal-wins-latest-battle-to-blast-historic-blair-mountain/

by Matt Wasson
October 9, 2012

Is nothing sacred to coal companies in Appalachia?

In a jaw-dropping display of contempt and disregard for the communities and landscapes where they mine coal, three coal companies back in 2009 challenged the listing of West Virginia’s Blair Mountain on the National Register of Historic Places. The companies, including mining behemoths Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal, opposed the listing of Blair Mountain as a historic site because it could interfere with their plans to conduct mountaintop removal mining operations on the Spruce Fork Ridge battlefield, site of the “largest organized armed uprising in American labor history,” and the most important historic landmark in Central Appalachia.

The 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain was the culmination of a three-year struggle to unionize the coal mines of southern West Virginia and ended only when federal troops intervened on behalf of anti-union coal companies. There are few sites as significant as Blair Mountain that commemorate the brave men and women who laid down their lives for a movement that has brought Americans everything from the weekend to child labor laws to the largest and most prosperous middle class the world has ever seen.

The battlefield on Blair Mountain was listed as a national historic landmark in 2009, but under pressure from coal companies, the West Virginia Historic Preservation Officer reversed that decision several months later. Last Week, a federal judge
threw out
an appeal by a coalition of environmental and historic preservation organizations led by the Sierra Club that sought to restore the historic designation.

Continue reading at:  http://appvoices.org/2012/10/09/big-coal-wins-latest-battle-to-blast-historic-blair-mountain/

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The Domino Theory, Redux

From The New York Times:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/the-domino-theory-redux/

October 9, 2012

Imagine you had a multibillion-dollar industry that was (a) enormously profitable and (b) under frequent attack from public health researchers because (c) it’s demonstrably bad for the health of your customers.

This was, of course, the story of the tobacco industry, and it is – right now – the story of the sugar-sweetened beverage industry.[1] Like the cigarette makers, the peddlers of soda cannot do much about any of this: they owe it to their shareholders to maintain those profits, and the products they sell evidently cannot, no matter how hard they try, be tinkered with to change factors (b) and (c). [2]

Even if the beverage industry were composed of the nicest people in the world, it will not stop marketing to children unless it’s made to; indeed, these marketing efforts are within the rules of the game, however deadly they may be. The outcome of those rules and the marketing they allow is pandemic obesity and all the costs associated with it, which have been detailed enough elsewhere to pass over here.

The goal of right-thinking people, then, is to change the rules and somehow make it more difficult for the marketers to do their job. This can be done by legislation, executive mandate or — in some places, like California — referendum. Legislation to impose a significant tax on soda — a penny or even two per ounce – has failed everywhere, though it’s come close, especially in Philadelphia. After failing to pass legislation for a soda tax, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed (and will evidently institute, five months from now) a ban on large sizes of soda in many New York City places.

Continue reading at:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/the-domino-theory-redux/

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