September 17th, 2011

Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Civil Rights things-gay marriage consultation imminent; Lib Dems hold annual conferance

Delegates at the five-day event will vote on 15 policy motions on issues including welfare reform, adult social care, phone hacking and Lords reform.
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The prospect that gay and lesbian couples will no longer be denied the right to marry has come a step closer with the announcement that an official consultation on reforming the marriage laws will start in the spring.

The Home Office lifted the ban on gay and lesbian civil partnership ceremonies being held in religious places eight months ago but strong opposition from some religious groups had blocked any further reform.

The equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, said that the launch of a formal consultation in March 2012 would allow any necessary changes of legislation to be made this side of the 2015 general election.

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barn owl

Grocery talks strained; Ralphs to shut down if strike occurs

With disgruntled workers at three supermarket chains set to strike as early as Sunday night, Ralphs stores are preparing to shut down in the event of a walkout, a spokesperson said Friday.

Relations between management and the unions representing 62,000 workers from Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs stores in Southern California have been strained for months due to contract negotiations, but fractured again this week over the topic of health care benefits.

On Thursday night, unions issued a 72-hour strike notice, giving them the ability to walk out from hundreds of stores around the region.

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FASH. Space dress.

Occupy Wall Street

New York - "Occupy Wall Street" is readying its protesters to camp in on Wall Street starting Saturday, for as long as their passion lasts.

As the protesters call for President Barack Obama to establish a commission to end "the influence money has over our representatives in Washington," it will be interesting to see whether New York will succeed in transforming Lower Manhattan into an "American Tahrir Square."

Occupy Wall Street, a leaderless resistance movement, was published by activist magazine Adbusters on July 13, and since then people from groups such as NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage have participated to organize the event. "The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%," says the event's official website.

Hacktivists Anonymous are among the protestors, promising their involvement under the banner #OccupyWallStreet. Anonymous released a short video calling for participation, spreading the movement to other nations like Japan, Israel, Canada and Europe.

"On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months," states the website.

While deemed as a mass movement against corporate dominance, the organizers' plan for Occupy Wall Street is to crowdsource the decision of what to demand through discussion.

"More than having any specific demand, per se, I think the purpose of September 17th, for many of us who are helping to organize it and people who are coming out, is to begin a conversation, as citizens, as people affected by this financial system in collapse, as to how we're going to fix it, as to what we're going to do in order to make it work for us again," said an organizer Justin Wedes.

The protestors' demand will likely be focused on "taking to task the people who perpetrated the economic meltdown," said Kalle Lasn, the editor-in-chief of Adbusters, reports CNN.

"We're hoping it's something specific and doable, like asking Obama to set up a committee to look into the fall of U.S. banking. Nothing extreme about that."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg responded to the protest in a press conference.

"People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we'll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it," said Bloomberg.

"As long as they do it where other people's rights are respected, this is the place where people can speak their minds, and that's what makes New York New York."

Occupy Wall Street protesters will gather at the iconic bull of the Wall Street in Bowling Green Park at 12 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a "General Assembly" at 3 p.m. at One Chase Manhattan Plaza.


Evidently Bloomberg is keeping his word - the cops aren't turning people away from what I can gather from twitter.

Women's 'sex strike' ends fighting in Mindanao villages

MANILA, Philippines - Women ended armed clashes in 2 Mindanao

villages by not having sex with their husbands unless the men laid down
their weapons, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR).

The success of the "sex strike" allowed families to start rebuilding their communities, the UN's refugee agency said.


Posted at 09/16/2011 12:37 AM | Updated as of 09/16/2011 11:54 AM

Faith in men and the possibly of peace has been restored.

And oh my god their expressions when he says he wants a second wife and she says what she wants!
shock-me-gray, bored, apathy

Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires

Published: September 17, 2011

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.

With a special joint Congressional committee starting work to reach a bipartisan budget deal by late November, the proposal adds a new and populist feature to Mr. Obama’s effort to raise the political pressure on Republicans to agree to higher revenues from the wealthy in return for Democrats’ support of future cuts from Medicare and Medicaid.

Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.

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No Enbridge
  • romp

Vancouver's new sex-trade strategy praised by advocacy group

A new municipal strategy on the sex trade put forth yesterday by the City of Vancouver has won the tentative support of a prominent sex worker advocacy group.

"We feel pretty positive about it," says Kerry Porth, executive director of PACE Society, a group working on behalf of street-level sex workers in Vancouver. "Sex work issues in this city are nuanced and complex and so the solutions have to be nuanced and complex as well. This is an excellent starting place."

According to the report released by the city yesterday, the 15 point plan offers "a comprehensive approach to addressing sexual exploitation and sex work through enhanced prevention, opportunities for exiting, and improved health and safety for all Vancouver citizens and neighbourhoods."

While Porth says she applauds many of the plan's recommendations, such as the call to increase support for sex workers looking to leave the industry and the proposed funding of a 24 hour drop-in shelter for workers in Vancouver's downtown eastside, her appraisal of the action plan was not wholly positive.

"We're not entirely happy with the suggestion that the City increase enforcement on clients of the sex-trade," says Porth. "More enforcement on clients means they're more likely to want to meet in clandestine locations; that places sex workers more at-risk."

Porth went on to express concern over another recommendation of the plan that could promote a crackdown on Vancouver's brothels and massage parlors -- far safer locations for sex-workers to ply their trade than the street, she says.

The City of Vancouver could not be reached for comment on this story.

PACE Society, staffed entirely by former sex workers, favours the decriminalization of all aspects of sex work in Canada.

But given the political and legal limitations faced by the city in crafting sex trade policy, the society is largely supportive of the new plan, says Porth.

"It's unfortunate that it took nine years after the arrest of Robert Picton for the city to do a comprehensive report looking at the very obvious harms associated with the sex work trade," says Porth. "But we're pleased that they're finally taking a positing and taking some steps."

The city's proposed strategy was produced by municipal staff at the behest of a July 2009 motion of city council. Council will review the 15 point plan at a Planning and Environment Committee meeting next Thursday.

Regional but this is an issue all over. I hope the city listens.
Background: Robert Pickton killed dozens of women, many sex workers and many aboriginal, which is not unusual. Years passed before this case became a priority which, sadly, is also not unusual. the victims

Hey mods, can we get a "sex work" tag?
Killjoy Spin
  • arisma

10 Scariest States to Be An Atheist

Let's be clear. It's not like it's easy to be an atheist anywhere in the U.S. Atheists are the most distrusted and disliked of all minority groups -- more than blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, and gays and lesbians -- and polls show that Americans are less likely to vote for an atheist than they are for a person in any other minority or marginalized category. And this hostility can have serious consequences, in the form of harassment, bullying, ostracism, vandalism, alienation from family, loss of jobs, and more.

But to be honest, there are parts of the country where being an atheist really isn't all that awful. Heck, I live in one of them. There's some bigotry, some discrimination, a fair amount of misunderstanding and even hostility... but all things considered, it's pretty okay. And then, there are some parts of the country where being an atheist sucks.

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