Happy Thanksgiving, Chumps
Go eat. And drink.
Political blog from the radical left, because the Invisible Hand is giving you the finger. rorschach782003 at yahoo dot com
"rorschach, have I told you how good your blog is? You find stories nobody else does." --Echidne of the snakes
China reported a 30% increase in cases of HIV/Aids this year as the disease spreads more rapidly from high-risk groups to the general population. Amid a backdrop of low condom use, rising drug abuse and tight restrictions on the activities of NGOs, the health ministry said the number of reported infections rose to 183,733 by October 31, up from 144,089 at the end of 2005.
Government officials estimate that the total HIV/Aids population is about four times higher because most carriers are unaware that they have the disease. Many of the new cases were attributed to better testing and reporting of existing cases, but there has been a sharp rise in infections spread through unsafe sex.
Don't Ask, Did Ya Say Somethin' There Sonny?
CBS 4 in Denver has a follow-up this afternoon to the story we brought you this morning about military recruiters.
According to reporter Rick Sallinger, "A CBS4 Investigation into recruiting by the United States Army found recruiters telling potential soldiers that it wasn't a problem if they were gay. The recruiters told people showing interest in being a soldier to keep their homosexuality to themselves."We encountered one recruiter who said 'I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
The command responded, when confronted by Sallinger, that "We don't condone that behavior at all."
But, as channel 4 reported last night, they do seem to condone drug use and gang activity.
You can watch the full report online here.
We applaud recruiters for wanting access to the best and brightest, regardless of sexual orientation, but the best way to get there is for those same recruiters to speak out in favor of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.
Buy If You Must, But Don't Sell Out
Buying a cup of coffee? Filling up your gas tank? Booking a flight for that dream vacation?
Every day, you make decisions about whom to support in corporate America. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Buying for Equality can help you easily support companies that support equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.
Ratings in Buying for Equality are based on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual report card, the Corporate Equality Index. A record 138 companies scored 100 percent on this year’s report, which is a significant increase from the 101 companies that earned a perfect score last year. Every day, from enhanced domestic partner benefits to transgender inclusion in non-discrimination policies, we are seeing a revolution in the American workplace.
Last year, more than 250,000 people used Buying for Equality to make informed choices about their purchases. This year, you can do your part to support fair-minded businesses by requesting or downloading Buying for Equality 2007.
You Have to Admit It's Getting Better
The United Nations said Wednesday that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the highest monthly toll since the March 2003 U.S. invasion and another sign of the severity of Iraq's sectarian bloodbath.
It began with tea and biscuits for constables at the police cordon after the July 7 terrorist attacks, progressed to lunches with senior officers and continues with regular invitations to gala nights and jive concerts.
The Church of Scientology appears to be involved in an effort to woo officers from the City of London police - an unlikely partnership perhaps, but one that seems to be blossoming. Details of how more than 20 officers, from constables to chief superintendents, have been invited to a series of engagements by the scientologists over the last 15 months have been revealed by a freedom of information inquiry by the Guardian.
The world has less than a decade to take decisive action in the battle to beat global warming or risk irreversible change that will tip the planet towards catastrophe, a leading climate scientist said on Tuesday.
This Is NOT the Post-AIDS World
The spread of the HIV/Aids pandemic continues unabated, with the number of people infected rising once more in some countries which had been thought to be beating the disease, according to the UN.
There are now 39.5 million living with HIV infection, according to the annual UNAIDS report, released ahead of World Aids Day on December 1, and 4.3 million of those were infected in 2006. That is 400,000 more than were infected in 2004.ost alarming is the increased prevalence in Uganda, long held up as a showcase to the world of what could be achieved in Africa with campaigning, education and widespread condom use. The report shows a rise from a low of 5.6% infection among men and 6.9% among women in 2000 to 6.5% in men and 8.8% in women in 2004.
The reasons for the increase are not clear, but there has been a shift in the message from Uganda's leadership. Between the early 1990s and early 2000s, HIV prevalence fell sharply in major cities among pregnant women - the group most commonly monitored because they have contact with health services - as President Yoweri Museveni worked to raise awareness of the dangers of HIV and put the authority of his office behind condom use.
But in recent years the message on condoms has been diluted in favour of greater emphasis on sexual abstinence until marriage - in line with the thinking of the Bush administration, which is spending millions of dollars on HIV prevention and treatment. Critics say many women are not in a position to abstain from sex and that many are infected by their husbands.
More Bush Crap
On Monday, the federal office that oversees the nation's family-planning program got a new boss who doesn't believe in birth control. Eric Keroack is a Massachusetts obstetrician-gynecologist who argues that abstinence until marriage is the only healthy choice for women. Until recently, he served as medical director of a pregnancy-counseling organization that runs down contraception and gives out scientifically false health information—for instance, that condoms "offer virtually no protection" against herpes or HPV. Keroack also promotes a wacky piece of pseudoscience: the claim that premarital sex disrupts brain chemistry so as to create a physiological barrier to happy marriage.
Keroack's appointment, as deputy assistant secretary of population affairs within the Department of Health and Human Services, did not require congressional approval. The Bush administration picked him on its own. And women's health advocates, editorial pages, and bloggers, along with Democratic members of Congress, are right to think he's a crazy choice for this job.
Victory for the Janitors?
What a difference a day makes! We have reached a tentative agreement for a 3 year contract for janitors.
Wages: $1.15 increase the first year, $1.00 the second year, and $.50 the third year.
Health Care: The third year is when single payer health insurance will kick in and janitors will pay $20 per month into that plan. It is a plan
designed and managed by SEIU and we are hoping to get all of our members nationwide on this plan.
Vacation: Two weeks paid vacation per year
Holidays: 6 paid Holidays
Hours: 1st year everyone must work a minimum of 4 hours a day, 2nd year everyone must work a minimum of 5 hours per day, 3rd year everyone must work
a minimum of 6 hours per day.
Protection: We have a grievance procedure in place. We have protection for all of the striking workers to get their jobs back with no discipline, We have a disciplinary proceedure in place so that no one can be illegally fired for no reason any more.
Right Wingers Still Have Class and Perspective
Looking to draw attention to what they call the "worst form of bigotry confronting America today," Boston University's College Republicans are circulating an application for a "Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship" that requires applicants be at least 25 percent Caucasian.
Bigots and Their Opposites
Hundreds of fascist supporters, many making stiff-armed salutes and chanting insults against gays and immigrants, gathered Sunday to mark the 31st anniversary of the death of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.Their opposites:
Vigils, services and a variety of other events are being held in 250 cities around the world today to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance - the day set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.
The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was organized by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1999 in San Francisco to honor the memory of Rita Hester who was murdered on November 28th, 1998.
I'm on Board
Two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter.
But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you just stay home.
The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.
"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change."
Houston police trampled on striking janitors with horses last night. The janitors make on average $20 a day with no health insurance. The companies responsible? Chevron. And Hines Interest, the city's largest hometown building owner.
These people make on average $5.35 an hour. With no health insurance. That is frakking ridiculous. It is wrong. And when these workers protested peacefully, the Houston police department rode into a crowd with horses to intimidate and injure the workers. It worked, as they arrested 44 workers and hurt 4 of them, including an 83 year old janitor.
I don't care if you don't like unions. This is insane. And if you are a politician reading this site, or a 2008 candidate, now's your chance to stand up and issue a strong statement condemning these actions and demanding that Chevron and Hines Interest pay these people responsibly.
If I Did It
A wave of revulsion and open criticism, reaching a climax this weekend, has swept America in the wake of revelations that Simpson intends to capitalise on the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman with a book and TV 'confession' in a £1.8 million deal brokered by Murdoch-owned companies. So widespread is the condemnation that even some of the top names on Murdoch's own cable channel, Fox News, have urged viewers not to buy the book or watch the interview.
It is no surprise. In both book and interview Simpson describes how he would have murdered Brown and Goldman. But only if 'hypothetically' he had done it. He even describes the amount of blood that would have been caused by slashing the pair to death.
The extent of the reaction perhaps typifies a case that has both outraged and enthralled Americans.
Certainly, the public vilification of Simpson seems to have taken its toll on Judith Regan, the controversial US book publisher who conducted the interview and whose Murdoch-owned ReganBooks is behind the deal. She has issued a bizarre eight-page defence of the deal in which she confessed to being a battered wife and that she felt the spirit of the slain couple in the room with her as she spoke to Simpson.
Given the scale of the backlash, it is no surprise that Regan is feeling the pressure. Murdoch and Fox must have been taken aback at the sheer speed at which the publishing scoop of the century has turned into a potential public relations disaster.
Local TV stations have already been swamped by complaints from the public, prompting many to opt out of showing the interview.
The outrage has spread to the publishing world, where revulsion at the book itself, entitled If I Did It, has already seen some stores start sending it back.
The anger was sharpened by publicity stunts such as the colouring of the 'I Did It' part of the book's title in red, and the fading of the 'If' into a pale white. In California the owner of Brentwood Bookstore, near where the murders took place, has refused to stock it, while the Northern California Independent Booksellers' Association, made up of some 240 bookstores, has emailed its members suggesting cash generated by the book be donated to domestic violence charities. Even some of the biggest media names in Murdoch's own empire have joined the fray, though the cynical might interpret that as a clever media ploy to have one's cake and eat it.
Bill O'Reilly, the conservative and outspoken anchor of a talk show on Fox News, called for a boycott of advertisers who buy ad space during the two-hour long interview. Another Fox star, Geraldo Rivera, famous for his patriotic stance on the war on terror, declared that the Simpson deal was 'appalling' and vowed to oppose it.
In 1999, the “moderate” version of John McCain said that overturning Roe v. Wade would be dangerous for women and he would not support it, even in “the long term.” Here’s McCain in the San Francisco Chronicle:This morning on ABC, McCain — now aggressively courting the likes of Jerry Falwell — expressed his unequivocal support for overturning Roe v. Wade.
I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.
Fifty Ways to Leave a Loser
The weekend after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, Kenneth Adelman and a couple of other promoters of the Iraq war gathered at Vice President Cheney's residence to celebrate. The invasion had been the "cakewalk" Adelman predicted. Cheney and his guests raised their glasses, toasting President Bush and victory. "It was a euphoric moment," Adelman recalled.
Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march, and Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that "the president is ultimately responsible" for what Adelman now calls "the debacle that was Iraq."
Adelman, a former Reagan administration official and onetime member of the Iraq war brain trust, is only the latest voice from inside the Bush circle to speak out against the president or his policies. Heading into the final chapter of his presidency, fresh from the sting of a midterm election defeat, Bush finds himself with fewer and fewer friends. Some of the strongest supporters of the war have grown disenchanted, former insiders are registering public dissent and Republicans on Capitol Hill blame him for losing Congress.