HBS “Classic Transsexuals” who Bully

A Facebook friend asked me if I was aware of what Jennifer Usher who blogs at Just Jennifer was saying about me.

Now I generally try to ignore  the “Classic Trannie Skank” Bullies who were too fucked up to make it on the Jerry Springer Show, but I’m aware of being one of Jennifer Usher’s prime targets.

Many of them claim to be conservative Christians which sort of explains their propensity for constant lying and general thuggishness.

Oh did I mention how much they love to Red Bait?

The “Classic Trannie Skank Bullies” were a major reason why I told Sharon and Lisa to stop publishing my pieces.

Now there is a grain of truth to some of the stuff Usher wrote about me.  In the 1990s when I was on Usenet I was in a bad place, my life was at a low point and I was drinking too much.  In my defense I wasn’t that much nastier than most of the people posting on the News Groups.

I left the News Groups after about a year, when I saw how vicious the bullying became, how damaging it was.

Eventually Tina and I founded WBT, which stood for Women Born Transsexual.  It was a shot at both the psychopathologizers and at the radfems who proclaim themselves to be womyn born womyn.

A lot of the “Trannie Skank” Bullies picked up on WBT, came to the mailing list and were disappointed when they found themselves banned after a couple of days.

If I recall correctly Usher lasted all of three posts.

About that time Charlotte Goiar, popped up and joined the list.  Goiar proposed we start calling transsexualism the Benjamin Syndrome.  Tina and I roared at that proposition as Benjamin Syndrome abbreviated to BS which, at least in America, stands for Bull Shit.

Goiar last just about as long on WBT as Usher did.

We had various other bigots on the WBT list, many if not all of them thought themselves to be purer and realer than other sisters who had the same surgery they had.  I thought they were pure BS and not Benjamin Syndrome.

Many of them were blatantly homophobic towards lesbian and bisexual sisters.

From:  Laura’s Harry Benjamin Syndrome HBS: A Peer Review

As the owner of a Transsexual,Transgender web site I have always provided the latest information on Transsexual research on my site long before HBS was first uttered. So the research on HBS sites was very familiar to me. In order to learn more I joined the Official Yahoo HBS Support Group. What I learned had little to do with HBS. It instead turned out to be an anti-GLBT group. People who asked simple questions and needed support, were diagnosed by militant members as being transgendered, perverts and fetishists. Gays and lesbians were also denigrated with frequent slurs. In fact those who did support GLBT rights were banned simply for supporting them. Several that were diagnosed by those without medical degrees were affirmed post-ops with similar stories to mine. One thing Yahoos HBS groups are not is an HBS Support Group. The group moderator defends the constant anti-GLBT slurs as member venting. While I have the posts to prove this it isn’t necesarry yet as you can visit the group to see for yourself. You can also see the posts against this site and my users who were members there. The group banned all of them and wrongly diagnosed us all as Transgendered (post-ban of course) including several Post-ops. Interestingly enough they were already diagnosed by well qualified Gender Therapists With Gender Identity Disorder and Transsexualism. Apparantly Charlotte Goiar can dignose anyone without a medical exam or license or even a history of the individual. She also believes that if you are born with the condition that it disappears if you have been married or are a non-op for medical reasons. NO professional would say this. You either are born with it or you are not.

Starting in January 2007 I started to receive email that first indicated something was very wrong. Users told tales of verbal abuse by members of the Yahoo HBS group. Many were depressed and shaken. Some had even attempted suicide blaming the group members for their distress. Of course there was no way to confirm this. Letters started to arrive from therapists on my HBS therapist list asking to be removed. As that list increased in size I began to ask why. Most liked the basic idea of HBS and accepted the research done was on Transsexualism by their collegues. Their objection was to the “disparaging teminology and total lack of objectivity”. Many had not only Transsexual clients but Transgenderists as well. As one therapist put it “HBS is not about transgenderism it is about transsexualism. Yet the author is clearly anti-trangender and makes it a part of the thesis for her medical Syndrome. Disparaging remarks have no place in such documentation”. Another wrote: “Usually only the medical profession creates new medical syndromes. I cannot seem to find the authors medical credentials. The person seems to be a layman which makes their qualifications for diagnosis and the HB Syndrome itself invalid”. The list has since been removed , Still another therapist said that the professional signatures gathered By Charlotte Goiar (Guren) was in fact on a document about Transsexualism not an endorsement of HBS. Read the title on the page.

As a result of these findings I wrote a public letter to Charlotte Goiar with suggestions to improve it as I wanted HBS to succeed. Her reply was co-operative at first, and she agreed to label her SOC as a proposal rather than medical fact. Other HBS sites still list them as facts however which is dangerous. Major damage has already been done to people as a result of being told “NOT to obtain therapy”. I replied to Charlottes reply but it was rejected while being submitted to her group. I later found out I was banned for not silencing a user in my forums for speaking her mind. Certainly I don’t tell Charlotte how to run her anti-LGBT hate group. In the days that followed Charlotte’s Moderator attacked my forums and it’s users under several fake names with all kinds of anti-transgender rhetoric, while telling users they were’nt prejudiced. This despite the fact anyone can see the venom in her groups posts. While Charlotte disavows hate her users still denigrate this site and me personally in her group. Why, because I pointed out that the LGBT slurs and anti-transgender messages in HBS docucments were going to have a negative effect on HBS itself? It already has. No Medical Professional or Therapist is going to back a Syndrome based on subectivity, hate and prejudice.In fact the (Ama) American Medical Association, just wrote a document banning prejudice against those with gender Identity and Transgender issues. Doctors will not discriminate to validate HBS as written.

When I started this Blog members of the cast of the bad reality TV show “Classic Trannie Skanks” flocked here thinking they might have found a new recruit.

They varied in their approaches.  Some like Cassandra took the high road and others who had been thrown off the mailing list took the low.

At first I even tried to treat HBS the new and improved name for Charlotte Goiar’s BS as something reasonable people might use instead of Transsexual.

I soon realized this was a mistake.

I also started searching on some of the trolls and discovered Andrea James had files on a number of them, files that often included detailed descriptions of their MO and in some cases included their pictures.

People like Jennifer Usher have a history and have pissed enough people off over the years that many sordid details of their life are available on line.

Sometimes people have negative things in their past and change for the better, other times they simply get worse.

But back to the photos of some of these bullies. Many of them  regularly viciously criticize the appearance of others while the pictures of them often show show them be bizarrely ugly.  Reading their trashings of various transgender or transsexual people one would think the people doing the reading were beautiful or supremely passable.  Instead many of these people are the sort who seriously stand to benefit from anti-discrimination laws that are expansive enough to protect transgender folks who are of the group that identifies as gender queers.

Instead they bully anyone who stands up for laws that might make their lives easier.

Autumn Sandeen has been the target for far more and much worse bullying from these Jerry Springer Show rejects than I have.

Aria Blue, one of the cast members of “Classic Trannie Skanks” had a particularly vicious blog until someone decided to punch back with a Blog titled Aria Blues which featured a post titled “The Rape of Autumn Sandeen”.

Shortly after that the Aria Blue Blog disappeared from public view and like many hate sites is viewable only by “friends”.

This is sort of the way  many hate groups like Aryan Nation operate, with certain forums and site only open to fellow bigots and bullies.

A few months ago one of their favorite targets, Autumn Sandeen was able to legally to change her birth certificate without  having had full SRS.  T to M people are allowed to make these official changes based on top surgery. Considering how birth certificates are becoming necessary to obtain identification including  a passport, which is now required to go to  either Canada or Mexico, I have come to view having the ability to change these documents as a basic human right.

I consider legal identification a human right.

I couldn’t believe the fury this stirred among the cast of “Classic Trannie Skanks”.  You would have thought some one was physically abusing them.

They started all sorts of violations of Autumn’s privacy, including some that were of questionable legality.

Some overstepped that border and a blog maintained by SA-ET fell into the same twilight zone that the Aria Blue Blog fell into.

The worst thing about the bullies from the reality show “Classic Trannie Skanks” is that they do real harm to their victims.

Many of us have been bullied from childhood and as a result suffer from PTSD or things like agoraphobia and a tendency to slide into depression.

Some have other similar diagnoses and take medications to deal with the anxiety brought on by encountering abuse like the abuse that is stock and trade of the “Classic Trannie Skank Show”.

Others self medicate, and have substance issues but pushing people, belittling them is stock and trade for the “Classic Trannie Skank” gang.

Oh I forgot.  It is rude for me to call these “sisters “”Trannie Skanks”.  Actually it is rude to the Transgender sex workers and  prostitutes who are too often the victims of violent crimes who are commonly called names like that.

Further and something I find particularly humorous having seen many of your pictures are your claims of being “intersex”.

From Aria Blues:

I have never seen a more clear cut case “penis envy”, and not of the female kind. No woman would ever attack a person this way. The obvious fraud being that none of these hidden harpies are transitioned, stealth, corrected or any of the handy catch phrases that they claim signifies a “classic transsexual “. Not one of them! Want to know why? Read on.

” i refuse to disclose the details of my genetics. i fear it would complicate the issue, and only aid the transgender movement in appropriating intersexed individuals.” – Anonymous-T-Girl


When I read shit from Jennifer Usher I want to ask:

What’s with the bullying?

What are you doing?  Are ya’ll wanking off and engaging in fantasy role playing games while sadistically abusing real live TS/TG sisters, who are out there working to make the world a little better?

What the Fuck?

This is the same sort of sick sadistic bullying that causes people, both children and adults to commit suicide.

Punching back seems to work.

It’s caused a few of you cockroaches to run back into your cracks like you just saw some one turn on the lights with a can of Raid in their hands.

The Real Mitt Romney: Remember What He’s Said Before

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Jenna Talackova, Transgender Beauty Queen, Fights World Health Organization

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/13/jenna-talackova-transgender-petition_n_1963991.html


Jenna Talackova, the transgender beauty queen famous for fighting for her right to compete in Miss Universe Canada, has picked a new battle with the World Health Organization and its classification of transsexualism as a mental illness.

In an online petition titled “World Health Organization: Trans people aren’t sick!” Tackalova aims to collect 35,000 names to put pressure on the WHO to change its transsexualism classification.

“This is such an important issue,” Talackova posted on Facebook. “Please join me in signing this petition, and encouraging others to as well.”

The World Health Organization considers transsexualism a gender identity disorder, a subset class of general adult mental and behavioural disorders.

According to its manual of “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems”:

F64.2 | Gender identity disorder of childhood A disorder, usually first manifest during early childhood (and always well before puberty), characterized by a persistent and intense distress about assigned sex, together with a desire to be (or insistence that one is) of the other sex. There is a persistent preoccupation with the dress and activities of the opposite sex and repudiation of the individual’s own sex. The diagnosis requires a profound disturbance of the normal gender identity; mere tomboyishness in girls or girlish behaviour in boys is not sufficient.

As of Saturday, 31,000 people from across North America have signed the form.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/13/jenna-talackova-transgender-petition_n_1963991.html

Click here to sign petition.

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Professor Joy Ladin brings her memoir of transition to DCJCC

From Metro Weekly:  http://www.metroweekly.com/arts_entertainment/events/?ak=7811

By Will O’Bryan
Published on October 11, 2012

Professors are supposed to be smart. That’s why they’re professors. Certainly, Joy Ladin is no dummy. The literature professor waited until she’d secured tenure before advising her dean at New York’s Jewish Yeshiva University that she would be transitioning, fully expressing her female identity. No more Professor Jay.

She wasn’t expecting the fallout, mild as it was. Everything would be just fine – as long as she didn’t set foot on campus.

”The university wanted me to go away for a while,” Ladin recalls. ”All I had to do was not do my job. It’s a situation many academics would kill for.”

But for Ladin, it was too much to ask.

”I’d never experienced discrimination before. I was completely unprepared for it. It just hurt. There were a couple blocks on planet Earth where I wasn’t allowed to go, two blocks where I was considered too horrible to be seen,” she says, adding that while her gender is an integral part of her, it’s still only part. ”My identity as a teacher is a very important part, too.”

Today, Ladin believes she is the first openly transgender employee at an Orthodox Jewish institution, and is sharing that experience and more in her memoir, Through the Door of Life. On Sunday, Oct. 14, she’ll be in D.C. as a guest of the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival at the Washington, D.C., Jewish Community Center.

Complete article at:  http://www.metroweekly.com/arts_entertainment/events/?ak=7811

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‘The courage to say no to misogyny’: Statement on the attack against 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai

From Rabble Canada:  http://rabble.ca/news/2012/10/shooting-14-year-old-malala-yousafzai-disgusting-attempt-silence-girl-who-condemned-mis

By Malalai Joya
October 13, 2012

Malala Yousafzai remains in hospital after being shot in the head by members of a faction of the Taliban in Pakistan. Only 14, Yousafzai received international notoriety soon after her “Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl” was published by the BBC in 2009.

Owais Tohid, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, reported that young Malala was motivated by another women’s rights activist with the same namesake: 

“The first time I met Malala, a couple of years ago, I asked her what her name signified. She answered: ‘Probably, a hero like the Afghan heroine Malalai [of Maiwand] or Malalai Joya. I want to be a social activist and an honest politician like her,’ she said, smiling. Ms. Joya, a 30-something activist, politician, and writer who was bitterly critical of both the Taliban and the Karzai regime, was at one point dubbed the bravest woman of Afghanistan.”

Malalai Joya, now 34, has survived numerous assassination attempts and in 2007 was suspended from the Afghan Parliament because of her criticisms of warlords, fundamentalists and the NATO occupation of Afghanistan. Joya sent rabble.ca the following statement on the shooting of Yousafzai.

On the attack against 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai

Once again we see a crime against women by dark-minded and brutal fundamentalists. Malala Yousafzai was shot by Pakistani Taliban because she did not remain silent about the ongoing crimes and brutalities against women; because, despite her young age, she had the consciousness to stand for her rights and say ‘no’ to the terrorism and misogyny of the creatures of the Stone Age.

I strongly condemn this disgraceful act of targeting an innocent 14-year-old girl. This is the real nature of Afghan and Pakistani fundamentalist Taliban. These dirty rascals pose as ‘manly’ but this heinous crime shows how unmanly and disgusting they are to kill a defenseless young girl.

Malala was targeted because, in her limited capacity, she wanted to inform the world about the brutalities going on against women by extremists. She wanted to wake up the women of the rural areas of Pakistan to stand up and defend their due rights.

Continue reading at:  http://rabble.ca/news/2012/10/shooting-14-year-old-malala-yousafzai-disgusting-attempt-silence-girl-who-condemned-mis

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On Our Radar – Abstinence Only Sex Education, The American Version Of The Taliban

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/on-our-radar-abstinence-only-sex-non-education-the-american-version-of-the-taliban/news/2012/10/14/51042

by Jean Ann Esselink
on October 14, 2012

In Pakistan, the Taliban tries to keep girls uneducated and sexually repressed with beatings and bullets. In America, congress does the same thing with money. Today, abstinence only sex education and the lives it destroys, are On Our Radar. 

They asked for Malala by name before one of them shot her in the head. That is what the press reported about the horrific incident in Mingora, Pakistan, that has incensed the world. Taliban religious zealots boasted of targeting Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani activist, who made a name for herself advocating for girls to go to school. In Pakistan’s Swat Valley, men with guns and whips and acid punish girls for the crime of wanting to educate themselves.

I suspect that most of you reading On Our Radar today will agree that 14-year-old Malala is a child. Perhaps you will say “adolescent,”  but by no stretch of the imagination do we consider Malala an adult. Few people will make the judgment that Malala, at 14, carries any responsibility for what happened to her because she was “old enough to know what she was getting into.” We would find such an attitude uninformed, insensitive, perhaps bordering on cruel.

Remember how you feel now about Malala’s age and level of responsibility for her actions, it will be important later.

In America men don’t use violence to keep girls from being educated; they use money. This week, the very week Malala was shot for her insistence that women deserve to be educated, Orin Hatch, a Mormon Senator from Utah, got his five million dollar wish to make sure some 14-year-old American girls aren’t educated either. Against a backdrop of exploding deficits, with our lawmakers unable to name a single program worthy of being cut, the Department of Health and Human Services, which didn’t ask for, and didn’t want the money, awarded grants worth a total of five million taxpayer dollars to fund abstinence only sex “education” programs.

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/on-our-radar-abstinence-only-sex-non-education-the-american-version-of-the-taliban/news/2012/10/14/51042

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The Age of Uncertainty Episode 1 – The Prophets and Promise of Classical Capitalism

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London: Occupy activists stage St Paul’s pulpit protest

From BBC:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19943083

14 October 2012

Four women from the Occupy London movement chained themselves to the pulpit in St Paul’s Cathedral before later cutting themselves free.

The Very Reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s, was taking an evening prayer service when the women in white chained themselves to the balustrade.

Cathedral staff were happy for them to remain there, police said.

The women cut themselves free at about 22:00 BST after City of London Police entered the cathedral, Occupy said.

An Occupy spokesman said they had decided to cut themselves free after being warned by officers that they faced arrest.

“They have now left the cathedral,” he said. “Some of the awareness-raising they wanted to do has been done. The Dean has also agreed to meet them and talk.”

It is a year since the group set up a protest camp outside the building. They remained there for four months.

Continue reading at:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19943083

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Is Anarchism an Idea Whose Time Has Come?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/anarchism-idea-whose-time-has-come

By Katherine Acosta
October 13, 2012

It seems that everywhere, these days, people are talking about anarchism. Now  Dmitry Orlov  joins the discussion with a 3-part series, “In Praise of Anarchy.” Utilizing primarily the work of the 19th century Russian anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, Orlov argues that anarchy, rather than hierarchy, is the dominant pattern in nature, that hierarchical organizations ultimately end in collapse, and that the impending collapse of the capitalist industrial system presents an opportunity for the emergence of anarchism.

Orlov,(aka kollapsnik at Club Orlov ), is probably best-known for his book,  Reinventing Collapse , in which he compares the collapse of the Soviet Union with the imminent collapse of the United States. Russian-born Orlov is in a unique position to make such comparisons. He immigrated to the USA when he was twelve years old, and, as an adult, made numerous trips back to the former USSR in the years immediately following the collapse of its political and economic system.

With a wry Russian wit I find immensely attractive, Orlov describes in Reinventing Collapse how people in the USSR were better positioned than are Americans for economic collapse. For example, most Soviet citizens did not own their homes; instead they lived in state-owned dwellings. When the USSR collapsed, they simply remained where they were and nobody evicted them. Compare that with the United States, where people were seduced into signing questionable mortgage agreements for outrageously priced homes, and where, since the economic crisis of 2008, 3 million have been foreclosed upon.

Similarly, few Soviet citizens owned cars, but they could take advantage of a highly developed public transportation system. Most Americans, on the other hand, are car dependent, burdened with the expense car ownership and operation entails. In the USSR, citizens used to inefficient, centrally-planned agricultural policies were already in the habit of growing some of their own food. In recent years, some Americans have wised up to this necessity, but not nearly enough. I’m constantly amazed by the number of people I meet who can’t identify common garden vegetables by their leaves.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/anarchism-idea-whose-time-has-come

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Church and State not separated in US?

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Romney, Abortion, Evangelicals, Sex and Lies

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/romney-abortion-evangelic_b_1961309.html?utm_hp_ref=politics


And so it’s come to this: the American evangelical religious establishment is busting a gut to elect a pro-abortion Mormon multimillionaire predatory tycoon with multiple offshore bank accounts who may or may not have paid his taxes while protecting the money he’s made from “harvesting” American companies by shipping US worker’s jobs overseas. Yes, he’s pro-abortion in 2 ways. First, his policies will lead to more women having abortions as social service for poor women are cut, including health care they receive at Planned Parenthood. Second, just check out what he actually did as a pro-choice governor in my state — Massachusetts — and wait for the reality check the “family values” folks’ will experience if he’s elected when sells them down the river on their “issue.”

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute:

“Women with family incomes below the federal poverty level ($18,530 for a family of three) account for more than 40% of all abortions. They also have one of the country’s highest abortion rates (52 per 1,000 women). In contrast, higher-income women (with family incomes at or above 200% of the poverty line) have a rate of nine abortions per 1,000, which is about half the national rate.”

Notwithstanding the facts of Romney’s actual past political activity the guaranteed results of his economic policies would be to undermine what he called “The 47 percent… who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing,” evangelicals are working for this flip-flopping opportunistic Mormon tax-avoiding “heretic” (their word not mine). Evangelicals favor a pro-abortion Mormon over an evangelical president whose lifetime working experience as a community organizer, senator and now president has been dedicated to helping the “least of these” in ways proven to actually reduce the number of abortions.

Then again it’s been a long time since facts — for instance the truth about what actually might reduce the number of abortions — got in the way of American evangelical fanaticism and sexual dysfunction. Evangelicals seem to prefer labels to action, ideological purity rather than actual accomplishment.

These are the folks that poll after poll demonstrate do not believe in global warming, or evolution, or that gay men and women are born that way, while simultaneously believing in a literal interpretation of Bronze Age creationist mythology and Roman era misogyny/homophobic bunk.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/romney-abortion-evangelic_b_1961309.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

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Does Romney’s Religious Devotion Make Him More, or Less, Trustworthy?

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12049-does-romneys-religious-devotion-make-him-more-or-less-trustworthy

By Valerie Tarico
Sunday, 14 October 2012

Are the devout more likely to speak the truth, base policy on objective evidence and demonstrate integrity in public life? It turns out, many religious have nuanced definitions of integrity, and some faith leaders have used that as a license to deceive.

Mitt Romney may be a member of a religious minority, but conservative Christians are working hard to think of him as “one of us.” Romney himself is hoping that they will take his religious devotion as a sign that he is a person of integrity, someone to be trusted even if he won’t share his tax returns or details of policy proposals. Does religion make people more trustworthy?

Most religious people like to think so. In fact, many Christians believe that when they are taken up to heaven and the rest of us are Left Behind, the world will descend into an anarchy of deceit, exploitation and violence. In the words of the New Testament writer, Christians are the salt of the earth, a shining and uplifted light – a beacon in an otherwise vast moral void. In this view, nonbelief is associated with moral bankruptcy, but the right kind of religious devotion makes people honest and good. In the United States, a confession of atheism can bias voters against a political candidate more than many other factors. By contrast, a Jesus fish in a business logo says, “We are to be trusted.” Even people who think that religion isn’t true often think that it’s a good moral influence. That is why Chris Rodda’s book title, Liars for Jesus, had a particular bite.

It is also why scenarios like the following can make maligned nonbelievers feel downright righteous:

  • A Catholic Archbishop in Kenya tells the laity that condoms help spread HIV, and priests spread the word that rubbers actually are laced with the virus.
  • Gordon Hinckley, president and prophet of the Mormon Church, faces a national audience and an awkward question: Do Mormons teach that God was once a man? “I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it,” he told Time Magazine in 1997. A year later he tells Larry King that polygamy is “not doctrinal.”

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12049-does-romneys-religious-devotion-make-him-more-or-less-trustworthy

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Challenges – Obama for America

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A New Prescription For the Local Food Movement

The Nation:  http://www.thenation.com/article/170526/new-prescription-local-food-movement

October 12, 2012  

At dawn, at the loading dock behind the kitchen at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital of Ann Arbor, Michigan, small lift loaders and handcarts trundle boxes from food trucks to storage rooms. Small lift loaders trundle shrink-wrapped pallets of food to storage rooms. The perishables go straight to immense walk-in refrigerators—buckets of cubed melons, bags of pre-washed lettuce, packages of onions diced by the quarter-, half-, and three-quarter inch.

That St. Joe’s executive chef can peel open a three-pound bag of diced onions and dump it into the steel cauldron he calls a soup pot is an efficiency triumph of no small consequence. Preparing the soup du jour from whole ingredients—all sixty-five gallons of it—would take hours of chopping.

When you’re making soup for 600, changing your grocery list can quickly get complicated. Hospitals like St. Joe’s are emerging as the next frontier of the local food movement, but they are struggling to navigate the tensions between their new food goals and their reliance on standardized, low-cost products delivered dependably day in and day out. The question is, Can the local food movement can scale up to meet institutional demand without losing sight of its original values?

Last fall, as part of the hospital’s sustainable food efforts, St. Joe’s loading dock had a new visitor. Farmer Richard Andres arrived from just down the road with 200 pounds of his green beans—local, organic, and grown by a family farmer. They were a point of pride for the hospital’s good food advocates, including CEO Rob Casalou and chief clinical dietitian Lisa McDowell. Like Farm to School initiatives, which are flourishing with support from Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, St. Joe’s sees enthusiasm for fresh local produce as a way to encourage healthier eating while supporting local farm economies.

In the kitchen, however, Andres’s superbly fresh beans meant eight hours of washing, snipping and slicing. Even St. Joe’s food purchasing coordinator sidled out from behind her computer to help get the job done. “Nobody understands how long it takes to prepare certain things,” says Executive Chef Ryan Kendall. “If it’s from a major food distributor, it comes in ready to rock and roll.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.thenation.com/article/170526/new-prescription-local-food-movement

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Occupy the Pipeline battles fracking threat in New York

From The Guardian UK:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/12/occupy-pipeline-battles-fracking-threat-new-york

A pipeline bringing natural gas produced by ‘hydraulic fracturing’ into New York City creates a new focus for environmental protest

guardian.co.uk, Friday 12 October 2012

I saw an odd sight on a quiet, West Village street in New York City on Saturday 6 October. A group of about 30 young women and men – all naked or topless – were dancing about, with their flesh painted green.

Patrick Robbins, a 26-year-old native of Brooklyn who works on sustainable development at Cooper Union, is the spokesperson for the group, Occupy the Pipeline. He explained the purpose of the protest-art show hybrid:

“[We’re] protesting the pipeline’s construction on New York City’s West Side Highway and Gansevoort, which is soon to be completed. The pipeline … is slated to bring hydrofracked gas from the marcellus shale – a bed that lies under Pennsylvania and New York State – into New York City’s gas infrastructure.”

While the health hazards at the point of fracking are well-known, I was not aware of hazards on the consuming end of using fracked gas. According to Occupy the Pipeline, the fracked gas threatens New Yorkers because gas produced from Marcellus shale has 70 times the average radioactivity of natural gas and very high radon content. The trouble with the noble gas (meaning that it is an inert gas) is that it was not one of the issues looked into by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission when it analyzed the pipeline project. The commission asserted that radon risk assessment was “outside their purview”, said Robbins. But the element has been linked to increases in the risk of lung cancer among non-smokers, claims Occupy the Pipeline, and poses a special risk to New Yorkers with immuno-compromised systems the moment the gas is burned – dispersing the radon.

Other health and safety concerns with fracking are linked to precedent, such as the undrinkable groundwater at Dimock, Pennsylvania, or the explosion from a pipeline of similar size and pressure in San Bruno, California in 2010 that claimed the lives of eight people.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/12/occupy-pipeline-battles-fracking-threat-new-york

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