Friday Night Fun and Culture Pentangle: Bert Jansch and John Renbourn

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Mitt Gets Worse: Pink Flyer to Racist Law

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Woman Hating Republican Rep. Joe Walsh: No abortion exceptions because pregnant women don’t die

Can we please send this woman hating Prick back to the private sector or the unemployment office next month?

There is no real reason for the people of this country to be supporting this pile of pathological woman hating human garbage.

Make a contribution to Democratic Candidate Tammy Duckworth, maybe we can replace this woman hating piece of shit.

Donate to Tammy Duckworth

From Raw Story:

By David Edwards
Friday, October 19, 2012

Tea party-backed Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) suggested on Thursday that exceptions to abortion bans were not necessary to protect the mother’s health because science had advanced to the point that pregnant women can’t die.

In their final debate before the November election, Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth noted that Walsh did not support “exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother” and he “would let a woman die rather than give a doctor the option to save her life.”

“That’s not fair,” Walsh complained.

Following the debate, the Illinois Republican told reporters that abortion was “absolutely” never medically necessary to save the life of the mother because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance,” according to WGN.

“This is an exception that opponents of life through out there to make us look unreasonable,” Walsh explained. “There’s no such exception as life of the mother. And as far as health of the mother, same thing. With advances in science and technology — health of the mother has become a tool for abortion for any time under any reason.”

Statistics released by the United Nations in 2010 indicated that the United States ranked 50th in the world for maternal deaths.

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TSA And Gender Profiling

From Counter Currents:

By Erin McElroy
17 October, 2012
As I stood in the slowly moving line toward the full-body scanner at San Francisco International Airport this past July, the last thing on my mind was my relationship to gender. Probably like most people in line, an array of thoughts were swimming through my head, some more banal than others. I was about to present at a conference on racism sanctioned upon Roma communities through transnational praxes of securitization, and perhaps my paper abstract was most poignant in my head as I approached the TSA. Mindlessly I took off my jacket and sneakers, and upon instruction, entered the claustrophobic space of the full-body scanner. Following orders, I lifted my hands as if being interrogated by an armed officer, and then walked out, ready to retrieve my bags from the conveyor belt.

But before I was able to make my way to my bag, a TSA officer approached and obstructed my way. “Excuse me,” he queried, his face less than a foot from mine, “Are you female, or a guy?”


True, my gender confuses people often. I was born female, and then began transitioning to male several years ago. After a year of transitioning, I decided that rather than fully pass as male, I wanted to remain more ambiguous. Not only did I feel most myself enacting androgyny, but politically I also preferred subverting the gender binary over performing one side of it or the other. Sure, this choice has come with risk and compromise, and I find myself having to practice strategic essentialism throughout various contexts, often to avoid harassment. It hadn’t occurred to me up until this airport moment, that TSA checkpoints were one of these contexts.

“Are you female, or a guy?” He was attempting to conceal a smirk below his professional stoicism.

“Why does it matter?” I cautiously inquired.

“We didn’t recognize your body in the body scan,” he explained, matter-of-factly. “And so we need to pat you down. We need to know which gender TSA officer should perform the pat-down.”

Ah ha! So because my body was not recognizable on the scan, I needed to be further examined. Not because I contained any suspicious objects, but because my gender was deviant. Frustrated and dejected, I pointed to a female TSA officer nearby, and said that she could pat me down. The whole thing took less than a minute, and soon enough I was on my way to the terminal, growing more confused and angry with each step.

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Federal Appeals Court Declares “Defense of Marriage Act” Unconstitutional

ACLU Press Release:

October 18, 2012

Ruling Declares Government Discriminated Against Edie Windsor After Death of Same-Sex Spouse

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

NEW YORK – A federal appeals court ruled today that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) unconstitutionally discriminates against married same-sex couples.

In striking down DOMA, the court held that government discrimination against lesbians and gay men now is assumed to be unconstitutional and that DOMA’s defenders could not offer any good reason for treating married same-sex couples differently from all other married couples.

This is the first federal appeals court decision to decide that government discrimination against gay people gets a more exacting level of judicial review, known as “heightened scrutiny.”

The law had been challenged by Edith “Edie” Windsor, who sued the federal government for failing to recognize her marriage to her pa rtner Thea Spyer, after Spyer’s death in 2009. Windsor and Spyer, who were a couple for 44 years, were married in Canada in 2007, and were considered married by their home state of New York.

“This law violated the fundamental American principle of fairness that we all cherish,” said Windsor. “I know Thea would have been so proud to see how far we have come in our fight to be treated with dignity.”

In her lawsuit, Windsor argued that DOMA violates the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution because it requires the government to treat same-sex couples who are legally married as strangers. Windsor’s lawsuit was filed by the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union.

When Thea Spyer died in 2009, she left all of her property to Windsor, including the apartment they shared. Because they were married, Spyer’s estate normally would have passed to her spouse without any estate tax at all. But because DOMA prevents recognition of the otherwise valid marriages of same-sex couples, Windsor had to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes.

“Yet again, a federal court has found that it is completely unfair to treat married same-sex couples as though they’re legal strangers,” said James Esseks, Director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “Edie and Thea were there for each other in sickness and in health like any other married couple, and it’s unfair for the government to disregard both their marriage and the life they built together and treat them like second-class citizens.”

Windsor, a senior computer systems programmer, and Spyer, a clinical psychologist, met in the early 1960s, and lived together for more than four decades in Greenwich Village. Despite not being able to get legally married, they were engaged to each other in 1967. Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and Windsor helped her through her long battle with the disease. They were finally legally married in May 2007.

“We are pleased that the federal circuit that represents three states that provide their gay and lesbian citizens with the right to marry affirmed the decision of the district court,” said Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, counsel to Ms. Windsor. “Given her age and health, we are eager for Ms. Windsor to get a refund of the unconstitutional tax she was forced to pay as soon as possible.”

Windsor has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her case. The court has not yet decided whether to hear her case, or any of several other challenges to DOMA.

“Edie and Thea’s home state of New York has long respected the marriages of same-sex couples and explicitly supports the freedom to marry,” said Mariko Hirose, staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union. “It is only right that the federal government respect the state’s decision and treat all married couples fairly.”

For a copy of the decision, go to:…

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Tammy Baldwin Is Like ‘Barney Frank In A Dress,’ Says Conservative Columnist

From Huffington Post:


WASHINGTON — Beware, Wisconsin, because a “radical lesbian” is poised to take over one of your Senate seats and behave like “Barney Frank in a dress,” according to Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner.

In a column titled “Radical Lesbian Knocking On Senate Door,” Kuhner writes in Thursday’s paper that Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who is running for U.S. Senate against Republican Tommy Thompson, doesn’t just want to make history by becoming the first openly lesbian senator in history. Because she is gay, she also wants to advance “the destructive sexual revolution of the 1960s.”

“She is … a postmodern socialist who wants government to underwrite birth control pills and homosexual unions,” Kuhner wrote. “Ms. Baldwin has made no secret of her lesbian lifestyle. She is a vocal supporter of gay pride and the LGBT community.” Kuhner criticizes Baldwin, a 12-term congresswoman in Wisconsin’s 2nd District, for her advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community, such as encouraging LGBT candidates to run for elected office, voting to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and backing same-sex marriage.

“The homosexual lobby is no longer interested in tolerance,” reads the column. “Proponents such as Ms. Baldwin want something more: legitimacy that is enshrined in law.”

And while Thompson is “a feisty conservative who embraces small government and traditional morality,” Kuhner writes that Baldwin is so far out of the mainstream that she is effectively the female version of another openly gay member of Congress, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

“The last thing [Wisconsinites] need is Barney Frank in a dress,” he concludes.

A Baldwin campaign spokeswoman declined to comment. Requests for comment from Thompson’s campaign and Frank were not immediately returned.

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Changing face of the Occupation

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Daniel Ellsberg Urges People in Swing States to Vote for Obama

From Truth Dig:

The following statement written by Daniel Ellsberg was originally released by
Posted on Oct 18, 2012

It is urgently important to prevent a Republican administration under Romney/Ryan from taking office in January 2013.

The election is now just weeks away, and I want to urge those whose values are generally in line with mine—progressives, especially activists—to make this goal one of your priorities during this period.

An activist colleague recently said to me: “I hear you’re supporting Obama.”

I was startled, and took offense. “Supporting Obama? Me?!”

“I lose no opportunity publicly,” I told him angrily, to identify Obama as a tool of Wall Street, a man who’s decriminalized torture and is still complicit in it, a drone assassin, someone who’s launched an unconstitutional war, supports kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial, and has prosecuted more whistleblowers like myself than all previous presidents put together. “Would you call that support?”

My friend said, “But on Democracy Now you urged people in swing states to vote for him! How could you say that? I don’t live in a swing state, but I will not and could not vote for Obama under any circumstances.”

My answer was: a Romney/Ryan administration would be no better—no different—on any of the serious offenses I just mentioned or anything else, and it would be much worse, even catastrophically worse, on a number of other important issues: attacking Iran, Supreme Court appointments, the economy, women’s reproductive rights, health coverage, safety net, climate change, green energy, the environment.

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Republicans Stealing 2012 Election in Broad Daylight

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A Poverty of Empathy

From In These Times:

The GOP’s social welfare philosophy dates back to 1818.

BY Maggie Garb
October 16, 2012

In 1818, the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism, New York’s first anti-poverty organization, issued a report advocating the need to relieve “the community from the pecuniary exactions, the multiplied exactions, and threatening dangers” associated with paupers.

These middle-class worthies were alarmed at the cost of heating the almshouse in winter, the appearance of women and children scavenging for coal and food scraps along city streets, and the able-bodied men left idle by a serious economic downturn. The report listed the causes of urban poverty: intemperance in drinking, idleness, “want of economy,” gambling, pawnbrokers and “imprudent and hasty marriages.”

Nowhere in the 20-page document did the authors mention the twin burdens of urban laboring people: low wages and few jobs. Instead, the report framed poverty as a moral failure, arguing that the “habits and vices” of the poor need to be remade. The Society later suggested installing a running wheel in the poor house—a massive machine combining the grueling monotony of a hamster wheel and a Stairmaster—to train the poor in the discipline of work.

The Society’s report brings to mind Mitt Romney’s comment about the 47 percent: “My job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Yet unlike Romney, many Americans are indeed worried about poverty. They feel themselves slipping downward from an already tenuous middle- or working-class style of life. And no one wants to face up to the inadequacy of America’s social safety net.

Like members of the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism, many in Washington reframe poverty as the opposite of work: Those relying on government anti-poverty funds are weak, dependent, or mired in some kind of antisocial marginal culture. Without a strict work requirement, America will become a “nation of government dependency,” said Mitt Romney in August.

Lost in the ongoing welfare debate is the fact that poverty often accompanies work, as Barbara Ehrenreich demonstrated in her 2001 investigation of minimum-wage earners, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. Government statistics back her up. A significant number of employed Americans are eligible for the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Most of the people receiving government housing vouchers are employed.

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Conservatives’ HPV vaccine dilemma: are they anti-cancer, or just anti-sex?

From The Guardian UK:

Proof that vaccinating girls against the HPV virus does not cause promiscuity puts culture warriors in a spot, Tuesday 16 October 2012

According to a recent study, giving children tetanus shots will not, in fact, encourage them to stab themselves with rusty nails or be less cautious when playing outdoors. Various political organizations have advocated against the tetanus vaccine, arguing that tetanus shots send the message that recreation is acceptable, and that if children know they’re protected from lockjaw, they will be less vigilant about avoiding the kinds of cuts and scrapes that can lead to deadly nervous system infections. Attempts to require tetanus vaccination have met extreme backlash from conservative groups who argue that mandating the vaccine is an assault on parental rights and family values.

Even bills that simply would have made the vaccine free for low-income children without mandating it were vetoed by Republican governors. Doctors hope that these study results, which show that tetanus-vaccinated children are no more likely to engage in unsafe recreational behavior than their unvaccinated peers, will increase the tetanus shot rate for children of parents who fear that tetanus shots encourage risk-taking.

At this point, you’re thinking, I hope:

“What in the world is this lady talking about? Everyone gives their kids tetanus shots! You’d be irresponsible not to inoculate your child against tetanus, and you’re nuts if you think that giving a kid a tetanus shot will make him be less careful about slicing his skin with filthy rusted metal. And there’s absolutely no political controversy around tetanus shots.”

You would be right. If only the same were true of the HPV vaccine.

According to a recent study, giving girls the HPV vaccine will not, in fact, encourage them to engage in sexual activity any earlier than their peers. Various political organizations have advocated against the HPV vaccine, arguing that the vaccine sends the message that sexual behavior is acceptable, and that if girls know they’re protected from HPV, they will be less vigilant about avoiding the kinds of risky sexual behaviors that can lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

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Ann Romney: Mormon missions and U.S. military are ‘different ways of serving’

Really ? You stupid overly privileged bitch…

Yeah Mitt’s cushy French Vacation and multiple deferments were just as much service as the kids of my class going to Vietnam and coming home in body bags or missing limbs.

It must have been horrible for Mitt to suffer the deprivation of Paris in the 1960s and those rude French people saying to him, “Mange d’la merde, Il n’y a pas de Dieu.”

Pretty much the same if you are a totally insensitive asshole who read too much fucking Ayn Rand.

From Raw Story:

By David Edwards
Thursday, October 18, 2012

The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday said that her husband and sons had not joined the U.S. military but had found “different ways of serving” by going on religious missions in France, England, Australia and Chile as part of their obligation to the Mormon church.

During an interview on ABC’s The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked Ann Romney how she would explain to the families of fallen soldiers why her husband and sons had not served their country.

“When I read about your husband, what I had read — and maybe you can correct this — is that the reason he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion,” Goldberg said.

“That’s not correct,” Ann Romney insisted. “He was serving his mission, and my five sons have also served missions. None served in the military, but I do have one son that feels that he’s giving back to his country in a significant way where he is now a doctor and he is taking care of veterans.”

“So, you know, we find different ways of serving,” she added. “And my husband and my five boys did serve missions, did not serve in the military.”

The candidate’s wife explained that Mormon missions were like military service in that “you’re going outside of yourself, you’re working and you’re helping others. And it changes you. And are we so grateful in this country for those people — men and women — that are volunteering, they’re sacrificing their life for us, and we cannot forget that or we have to acknowledge that always.”

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Mitt Romney’s Heartless Advice to a Woman Whose Pregnancy Might Have Killed Her

From Alternet:

Mormon women remember Romney’s advice when he was a church leader, and there wasn’t much ‘moderate’ about it.

By Geoffrey Dunn
October 17, 2012

The summer of 1983 was blistering hot in New England. A record heat wave saw temperatures soar toward the 100-degree mark from June well into September. July had been the hottest month ever recorded at Boston’s Logan Airport.

The region’s beloved Boston Red Sox, full of hope and promise early in spring and claiming first place in the American League East as late as June 1, apparently melted in the heat, losing game after game and tumbling to last place by mid-July, where they were to remain the rest of the season.

It was also during the sweltering summer of 1983 that the family of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made its celebrated escape from the oppressive New England heat for the cooler climes of Beach O’Pines, Ontario, where the Romney family owns a beachfront cottage in a gated community on the shores of Lake Huron. Prior to departure, Mitt Romney placed the family dog—an Irish setter named Seamus—into a dog carrier and lashed it to the roof of the family’s Chevy station wagon for the 12-hour drive into Canada.

The infamous dog ride (dubbed the “Seamus incident”) was to become a full-blown issue in the 2012 presidential primaries, as Romney’s chief Republican opponent, Rick Santorum, invoked the incident to attack Romney’s “character.”

Political cartoonists and late-night comedians had a field day with the story. The incident inspired aNew Yorker cover, while the punk band Devo recorded a song entitled, “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro.” ABC’s Diane Sawyer, in an interview with Romney during the primaries, dubbed it the “most wounding thing in the campaign so far.”

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First Lady Michelle Obama: It Takes One

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Climate change fiction melts away just when it’s needed

From The Guardian UK:

It’s the most urgent problem of our era, but novelists appear singularly reluctant to address it

Posted by Thursday 18 October 2012

“Guys, the ice caps are melting now,” wrote Chris Ross in the Guardian Review last year. “Where are those stories?”

The review’s subject was a collection of short stories, I’m With the Bears, all on the issue of climate change. It featured good writing – from the likes of Margaret Atwood and Lydia Millet – but, as Ross put it, “much of this material seems to have been lifted from the wastebasket.” Why was no one writing fresh fiction about it?

One year on, the question still stands. “In spite of the stakes,” said Andrew Simms on the Guardian’s environment blog the other day, “the issue has receded from the political frontline like a wave shrinking down a beach.” It seems that the wave never quite reached our beach – the beach of fiction writing – in the first place.

Sure, there was Solar. Ian McEwan‘s 2010 satire of a balding, overweight scientist with marriage problems explicitly focused on “the most pressing and complex problem of our time”. That’s the one everyone could probably mention. But after that? There was mainly silence (if you leave aside poetry, where much more seems to be going on, most notably, perhaps, Tom Chivers’ ADRIFT project).

There’s apocalyptic fiction, of course, and you could, I suppose, connect a novel such as Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood to climate change. But is this type of literature really concerned with the issue, or does a vaguely related scenario merely serve as a purpose for other themes and situations? (Also, as environmentalists are increasingly keen to point out, climate change isn’t really about the end of the world at all; it’s about living conditions becoming harder and harder as we go along.)

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Clean Coal is a Hoax, Mr. President, So Drop it

From Common Dreams:

by Jeff Biggers
Published on Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Common Dreams

Out of all the meaningless slogans bantered around this election season, President Obama’s clinging to the “clean coal” banner ranks as one of the most specious.

“Clean coal” is a hoax, and the president knows it, and outside of appeasing a few Midwestern Big Coal sycophants and his Duke Energy coal buddy Jim Rogers, who helped to underwrite the Democratic Convention this summer in Charlotte, Obama has little to gain from invoking the offensive phrase.

You’re offensive, President Obama, to use your own words.

Offensive to coal miners and their families who have paid the ultimate price, offensive to people who live daily with the devastating impacts of coal mining and coal ash in their communities and watersheds, and offensive to anyone who recognizes the spiraling reality of climate change.

If Ameren, one of the biggest coal-supporting utility companies in the nation, can throw in the towel on the FutureGen “clean coal” boondoggle in Obama’s adopted state of Illinois, then why can’t our president at least state the truth during his election — or drop the sloganeering?

It’s sad enough to watch the president mock Republican Mitt Romney for his dead-on realization, once upon a time, that coal-fired plants kill.

It’s even sadder, as our nation drifts along in Titanic denial toward climate destabilization, for our president to crow about being a friend of a deadly rock.

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Over Half of All Wetlands on Earth ‘Destroyed’ in Last 100 Years

From Common Dreams:

Common Dreams staff
Published on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by Common Dreams

Over half of all wetlands in the world have been destroyed in the last 100 years due to residential and industrial development, water waste, over-consumption, and pollution says a new report released by the United Nations Environment Program.

According to the report, the “startling figure”—a 50 percent loss of wetlands on earth—signals years of neglect of our world’s ecosystems, as industrialization and development have trumped concerns of biodiversity and water scarcity. As a result, coastal wetland losses in many regions have occurred at a rate of 1.6 percent per year.

“Water security is widely regarded as one of the key natural resource challenges currently facing the world,” the authors of the report state. “Human drivers of ecosystem change, including destructive extractive industries, unsustainable agriculture and poorly managed urban expansion, are posing a threat to global freshwater biodiversity and water security for 80 per cent of the world’s population.”

The report was compiled through The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity project and presented at this year’s UN Convention on Biodiversity.

Reporting on this year’s convention, being held through the end of this week in India, Friends of the Earth International pleaded with the international community to put forth biodiversity protection policies such as vast conservation proposals and increased governmental regulation of resource extraction, as apposed to the business-based free market model known as the ‘Financialization of Nature,’ which has largely dominated the convention. Such policies promote market-based schemes like pollution trading, water markets, and privatization and commodification of common resources, frowned upon by environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Food and Water Watch.

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