May 2nd, 2012


Viagra: "The Drug for Life"

Minnesota Senator Who Sponsored Vetoed Anti-Abortion Pill Bill Calls Viagra A ‘Drug For Life’

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has vetoed an anti-abortion bill that would have required a doctor to be present for a woman to take the abortion-inducing drug RU-486, effectively banning “tele-med” abortions and disproportionately affecting women in rural communities. Dayton wrote in his veto letter that patient safety should always be a concern, but “a veto is warranted on legislation because it is driven by a specific political ideology rather than a broad-based concern for protecting all patients.”

Indeed, during debate about the legislation, a Democratic state senator asked why RU-486 should be regulated instead of erectile dysfunction medication. Sen. Paul Gazelka (R), the bill’s sponsor, said Viagra is a “wonderful drug” that “helps create life.” RH Reality Check’s Robin Marty asked Gazelka to clarify his comments about Viagra, and he said in response:

"comparing Viagra to RU-486 was comparing apples and oranges or more like comparing life and death. Viagra is a wonderful medical advancement in that can help couples with sexual disfunction issues…it can even help in producing life. RU486 always destroys life by taking the life of the unborn child."

Gazelka did not respond to Marty’s questions about whether he would sponsor a bill to collect information about men who are prescribed Viagra, similar to “databases created in various other states to gather information on women who obtain abortions.”

Gazelka’s bill and his ensuing comments about Viagra highlight the unfair burden placed on women who seek abortions and related health care. State regulations continue to add additional hurdles women must overcome to access abortions and contraception, while no similar measures block the availably of Viagra for men.


Vegan pet food triggers meaty debate

Vets have advised against non-meat and non-dairy diets for domestic pets despite the increasing popularity of a vegan product designed to cover cats' and dogs' dietary needs.

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Hmmm, well I know one thing about my cat, there is nothing that gets him more excited than fresh chicken or tuna he gets once a week. He'll eat the dry processed food happily - but he'll only go into kittty paroxyms of joy over meat. But I do wonder if the vegan option has a less offensive kitty litter odour, I might try it for a while to see (but he'll still get his chicken)

mus | like a bird in a cage

Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline — suspensions drop 8

THE FIRST TIME THAT principal Jim Sporleder tried the New Approach to Student Discipline at Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, he was blown away. Because it worked. In fact, it worked so well that he never went back to the Old Approach to Student Discipline. This is how it went down:

A student blows up at a teacher, drops the F-bomb. The usual approach at Lincoln – and, safe to say, at most high schools in this country – is automatic suspension. Instead, Sporleder sits the kid down and says quietly:

“Wow. Are you OK? This doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?” He gets even more specific: “You really looked stressed. On a scale of 1-10, where are you with your anger?”

The kid was ready. Ready, man! For an anger blast to his face….”How could you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?”…and for the big boot out of school. But he was NOT ready for kindness. The armor-plated defenses melt like ice under a blowtorch and the words pour out: “My dad’s an alcoholic. He’s promised me things my whole life and never keeps those promises.” The waterfall of words that go deep into his home life, which is no piece of breeze, end with this sentence: “I shouldn’t have blown up at the teacher.”


And then he goes back to the teacher and apologizes. Without prompting from Sporleder.

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oh holy shit
  • chaya

WTF: When Tanning Goes Terribly Wrong

Recently, a New Jersey mom was arrested for allegedly allowing her six-year-old daughter to catch some rays in the tanning booth after her daughter told the school nurse that her sunburn came from “tanning with mommy.” Although the mom said her daughter’s sunburn happened the old-fashioned way—playing outside—authorities weren’t buying it. They charged Patricia Krentcil with Second Degree Child Endangerment, and she’s now fighting to clear her name.

Despite Krentcil’s claims that she didn’t allow her daughter to hop in the tanning bed, a crime for anyone under the age of 14 in New Jersey, there is one thing that has to be working against her case: Her face.

(link to vid, as lj doesn't seem to like the embedding script)

Judging by her appearance on camera, Krentcil has spent many a day in the booth, so much so that I thought she was in blackface when I first glanced at the accompanying picture.

While child endangerment is a serious charge, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing hysterically as Krentcil explained the situation to her local news affiliate. I give them props, though. Throughout the entire news report no one mentioned her noticeably leathery skin or the fact that she looks utter ridiculous with her burnt sienna skin and too-blonde hair.

Although I can’t really comment on whether or not she endangered her child, judging by Krentcil’s skin she looks like she’s done enough damage to herself to last a lifetime.


Prosecutors Systematically Eliminate Gay Jurors in Activist Trial

Judge slams prosecutors for dismissing gay juror

A judge ruled Tuesday that prosecutors in a case involving a group of same-sex marriage activists violated the defendants' rights by dismissing a potential juror based on his sexual orientation.

Superior Court Judge Joan Weber ruled that the defendants in the case were denied a representative jury when prosecutors challenged the selection of a gay man to be on the panel. She said she found the actions of the San Diego City Attorney’s Office “shocking.”

The judge dismissed the entire jury panel.

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P // White Seal of Approval™

Those hijabis and women of colour don't like it when I play White Saviour™

When Anti-Racism Becomes Anti-Woman: The 'Privileging' of Race above Gender

Sadly, I was not surprised to read that brave Egyptian-American activist and writer, Mona Eltahawy faced a barrage of vitriolic abuse this week after the publication of her brilliant article 'Why do they Hate Us?'. Eltahawy's article (shock, horror) dared to criticise the worst excesses of patriarchal violence and misogyny so prevalent in the Middle East.

Only a couple of weeks ago, I had a similar experience. As editorial collective member of The Feminist Wire (TFW), I wrote and published: 'To be Anti-Racist is to be Feminist: the Hoodie and the Hijab are not Equals'. The article, which was in the hands of four TFW collective members before publication and was approved of as 'excellent' by two, generated not only a huge amount of online debate but also abuse in terms of my skin colour (white), character (non-Muslim) and motivation (imperialism). I was called a "racist" and "white imperialist" and was even accused of using the 'ties' of my mixed-race family to "obfuscate my whiteness." For what did I deserve this abuse? For questioning the hijab, not only in relation to majority of women who are forced to wear it, but also those women who have the privilege of 'choice'. For saying that the main parallel that can be drawn between the recent US murders of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi (if any can be drawn at all) are that they were both the result of a global culture and celebration of male violence and patriarchy. And for claiming that a hijab cannot be compared to hoodie in terms of its origin and symbolism.

Subsequently, The Feminist Wire collective (panicking in the face of hostility from their own members) published a response from 77 North American feminists. This response not only misrepresented and undermined my article but also my credibility as an author. The online debate that ensued was equally aggressive and unpleasant.

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Source doesn't understand why we can't fight the real injustices

So, there is a lot of bullshit to sort out in this. Let's start by taking a deep breath and reminding ourselves that playing the Oppression Olympics is stupid and harmful.

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Quebec education minister took mob money

(From AFP)

The embattled education minister of Canada's Quebec province, already facing a massive student backlash, on Wednesday was chided for receiving mob money at a party fundraiser.

Line Beauchamp faced a barrage of questioning in the legislature over the 2009 breakfast talk attended by Domenico Arcuri, a man Montreal police say belongs to the mafia.

She denied knowing Arcuri and added, "Now that the information is public and the links well established, I would not put myself in that position again."

Revelations that Arcuri paid $1,000 to attend the event and donated another $2,995 to Beauchamp's Liberals came out in the French-language daily La Presse.

Arcuri was said to be representing a soil decontamination company seeking a permit from the government, which it received one year later.

Beauchamp, who was environment minister at the time, insisted that the decision to grant the permit was made solely by bureaucrats.

Meanwhile she continues to face a stiff challenge from more than 170,000 students striking over plans to raise school fees by $1,625 as part of an effort to rein in the budget deficit.

After talks with the government broke down last week, students took to the streets, resulting in violent clashes with police and smashed storefronts in Montreal.
This and various other sources point to governmental corruption in this province. But of course, when it comes to university funding, the problem is that students don't pay enough and not lack of government funding.


In other news, protests here are continuing -daily. The government still refuses to negotiate with students.

buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx

‘Don’t say gay’ bill prompts lawmaker to come out...

JEFFERSON CITY — A Kirksville Republican lawmaker announced publicly he is gay today at a news conference opposing a bill that has gained national attention for its proposed restrictions on in-school discussions of sexuality.

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Source: Columbia Tribune

I love when 'human being' trumps 'political party'. Doesn't happen often enough. He's not 'my' representative, but I already emailed him a note of support and thanks. I hold out hope that more Missourians are like this guy than like Cookson.

ETA: Courtesy perthro

MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Avenue
Room 400CC
Jefferson City MO 65101

Wife Of NC Amendment One Supporter: Husband Wrote Bill To Preserve ‘Caucasian Race’

The wife of a sponsor of North Carolina’s Amendment One, a proposed change to the state’s constitution that would ensure legal recognition only for marriage between a man and a woman, reportedly offered an eyebrow-raising explanation for her husband’s support of the measure.

Jodie Brunstetter, the wife of state Sen. Peter Brunstetter (R), has found herself embroiled in controversy after suggesting that her husband’s role in writing the bill — which passed the Republican-controlled general assembly last fall — was racially motivated.

According to the alternative Yes! Weekly, which picked up the remarks from freelance journalist and activist Chad Nance, Jodie Brunstetter told a poll worker in Winston-Salem, N.C. Monday that the reason her husband “wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce.”

Nance had been volunteering for a group opposed to Amendment One while also serving as a campaign manager for Matt Newton, a U.S. House candidate in North Carolina’s 12th Congressional district. After a dispute with the candidate over his decision to make Jodie Brunstetter’s remarks public, Nance resigned from Newton’s campaign.

Nance ultimately approached Jodie Brunstetter for clarification and he chronicled the exchange on video. Throughout the conversation, she offers often-convoluted responses to Nance’s questions and even admits to invoking race in her original remarks, although she insists that they were taken out of context. Yes!

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N.C. Preacher Tells Parents to Crack Wrists, Punch Effeminate Children

The words of a homophobic North Carolina preacher are reverberating around the Internet today, following a sermon in which he advocated physically assaulting toddlers with "limp wrists."

The words of a homophobic North Carolina preacher are reverberating around the Internet today, following a sermon in which he advocated physically assaulting toddlers with "limp wrists."

Sean Harris (pictured, left), the senior pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, is a strong supporter of North Carolina's proposed antigay Amendment One. In Sunday's sermon, Harris screams like a maniac about cracking limp wrists and punching young children who exhibit gender-variant behavior. Girls playing sports are OK, but they must attempt to look pretty, according to Harris. Listen to the audio, obtained by

can't get audio to embed, listen at the source

NC is not looking so hot this week. And this dumb ass tried to say it was a ~joke.
[COMIC] Crosshairs

New Asset Test For Pa. Food Stamps Set To Begin

Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Public Welfare Department will start asking food stamp recipients next week to prove they don't have significant personal assets in order to qualify for benefits.

Advocates for the poor say the new policy will be expensive to administer and hurt families for whom the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program can be a lifeline. It goes into effect Tuesday, but it will be about six months before the department knows how many have lost benefits.

"The majority who will lose benefits — the significant majority — are seniors and people with disabilities," Julie Zaebst, policy center manager for the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, said Friday. "In our experience, many of those folks are saving for medical expenses and funeral expenses."

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Study Reveals Atheists Are MORE Compassionate And Generous Than Highly Religious People

For years, religious conservatives, despite their hatred for the poor and sick, have been denouncing atheists, agnostics, and those they feel are less religious, such as liberals, as being godless heathens who are destroying the morality of America. A new study, however, finds that less religious people are actually more compassionate and generous than highly religious people.

In a study published in the latest edition of Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, researchers performed three experiments and concluded that highly religious people are apparently more stingy with money and less compassionate overall than those who are less religious.

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The Beginning of the End of the Unpaid Internship

In August 2011, when Diana Wang began her seventh unpaid internship, this time at Harper’s Bazaar, the legendary high-end fashion magazine, she figured that her previous six internships – at a modeling agency, a PR firm, a jewelry designer, a magazine, an art gallery and a state governor’s office – had prepared her for the demands of New York’s fashion world.

“I was so determined to make this one really worth my while,” says the 28-year-old Wang, who moved from Columbus, Ohio, to New York, where she was living with her boyfriend (also working as an unpaid intern at one point) and living off of her savings. “I knew I couldn’t do anymore internships after this.”

As it turned out, Wang’s internship was just like many of the thousands of others: unrewarding in terms of both pay and marketable experience — not to mention the lack of a job offer. In fact, the only difference between her internship and most others was what happened about a month after it ended. Wang sued.

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Why is the Obama administration endorsing a virginity pledge-based abstinence-only program?

Recently, the Obama administration quietly updated its list of “evidence-based programs” that “met the effectiveness criteria” for preventing teenage pregnancy and are therefore endorsed by the Department of Health and Human Services. This list includes the Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education program. Which is weird because, like basically all abstinence-only programs ever, it doesn’t work.

According to RH Reality Check, a 2007 study found that the program “had little or no impact on sexual abstinence or activity.” But that makes it sound like Heritage is just ineffective but harmless. In fact, while it “contains little or no information about puberty, anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual behavior,” it does teach kids some stuff. Here’s a sample:

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Mods is it possible to add either a virginity or abstinence tag?

The Gang

Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil

Glen Ford at the Left Forum

No matter how much evil Barack Obama actually accomplishes during his presidency, people that call themselves leftists insist on dubbing him the Lesser Evil. Not only is Obama not given proper credit for out-evil-ing George Bush, domestically and internationally, but the First Black President is awarded positive grades for his intentions versus the presumed intentions of Republicans. As the author says, this “is psycho-babble, not analysis. No real Left would engage in it.”

Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil

Glen Ford at the Left Forum

BAR executive editor Glen Ford made the following presentation at the Left Forum, Pace University, New York City, March 17. On the panel were Gloria Mattera, Margaret Kimberley (BAR), Suren Moodliar, John Nichols, and Victor Wallis. The discussion was titled, The 2012 Elections: Lesser Evil or Left Alternative?

He has put both Wall Street and U.S. imperial power on new and more aggressive tracks – just as he hired himself out to do.”

Power to the people!

Let me say from the very beginning that we at Black Agenda Report do not think that Barack Obama is the Lesser Evil. He is the more Effective Evil.

He has been more effective in Evil-Doing than Bush in terms of protecting the citadels of corporate power, and advancing the imperial agenda. He has put both Wall Street and U.S. imperial power on new and more aggressive tracks – just as he hired himself out to do.

That was always Wall Street’s expectation of Obama, and his promise to them. That’s why they gave him far more money in 2008 than they gave John McCain. They were buying Obama futures on the electoral political market – and they made out like bandits.

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