Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Then a middle-aged man exits his car, takes one look at me, and with a tone of bewilderment and arrogance asks (with an obnoxious look on his face to top it off), "Are you pregnant?"
"No," I reply, matching his ugly glare with an are-you-on-drugs sort of squint.
"Oh, sorry. I was going to say that you are too young."
At this point, the man enters 7/11 and I get into my car. Dumbfounded, I need a moment to get my thoughts together, when I decide it is only appropriate to chase this man down. I re-enter 7/11, find the man at the cash register, and point my artificially-flavored cherry lollipop at him.
"So what if I am pregnant? What business is it of yours? I don't care what you think my body looks like, MY BODY IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS."
Not much of a talker now, the man awkwardly mustered up an, "I agree."
As a woman, it seems like my body is automatically subjected to some heightened degree of commentary and observation. Whether it's sexual harassment, or the housekeeper telling my mom that I am "mas gorda," far too many people feel entitled to giving me an unwarranted and unwanted opinions.
Let me introduce a small concept called "boundaries." My body is mine. It's not yours. It's none of your business. Keep it to yourself.
Reminds me of some Dead Prez lyrics: let your food be your medicine...
Anyway, here is the DK clip:
Monday, June 29, 2009
Emphasis on weight and counting and measuring everything humanly possible bothers me. I prefer to avoid self-destruction and self-deprecation and think about my health, the planet, and animals. That's why I am just so giddy over a fun new phrase I found in the Summer Issue of VegNews.
Eyebrows first went up when the bill called for the repeal of key provisions in the Clean Air Act, leaving no carbon regulation of coal-fired plants. One can only imagine that the effect will be similar to mischievous children who are not supervised or disciplined.
Then, earlier this morning as I was reading a blog post on the Obama Administration's lack of full disclosure and re-defining of the Freedom of Information Act, I also learned that Obama rejected the FOIA request for Secret Service logs revealing the identities of big coal executives visiting the White House. Despite the fact that as a Senator, Obama criticized Bush for his secret meetings with oil execs, Obama has pulled the same stunt to discuss "clean energy."
I get the fact that there are only 32 Democratic Senators and 157 Democratic Representatives that are from less-than-average coal-reliant states and that compromise for the sake of political viability is a shady game that must be played--but denying public and legal requests for information and holding secret meetings is a step too far, especially for a president who built his platform on transparency.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Co-sponsors include Reps. Henry Waxman, Barbara Lee, Mike Honda, and Nydia Velazquez.
Baldwin explains that the government lacks basic data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and health, and for this reason, this bill includes investments in data collection and research as well as:
non-discrimination policies for all federal health programs, provides funding for cultural competence training for health care providers, extends Medicare benefits to same-sex domestic partners, creates a new office of LGBT Health within in the Department of Health and Human Services, and provides funding for community health centers who serve the LGBT community. full article
Since then, climate coalitions and individual citizens have been working non-stop to advocate for a stronger, better bill.
Here's the deal: ACES doesn't offer any more wind and solar than the Department of Energy already has in the works. Since Speaker Pelosi decides which ammendments are voted on and which are not, please call your member of Congress and tell him/her:
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The Ouchley brothers plan to undo this damage as best they can:
There is a growing awareness that Louisiana’s levees have exacted a huge environmental cost. Inland, cypress forests and wetlands crucial for migrating waterfowl have vanished; in southern Louisiana, coastal marshes deprived of regular infusions of sediment-rich river water have yielded by the mile to an encroaching Gulf of Mexico. Some scientists have suggested opening levees south of New Orleans so the Mississippi River can flow normally into the swamps. full article
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The White House said Thursday it was seeking ways to include same-sex marriages, unions and partnerships in 2010 Census data, the second time in a week the administration has signaled a policy change of interest to the gay community.
The administration has directed the Census Bureau to determine changes needed in tabulation software to allow for same-sex marriage data to be released early in 2011 with other detailed demographic information from the decennial count. The bureau historically hasn't released same-sex marriage data. full article
The bill also calls for utilities to produce 15% of their electricity from wind and solar by 2021--a weaker target than the current House bill.
The New York Times reports:
The energy bill includes money for clean energy technologies and training for workers in new energy-related industries. It calls for expansion of the nation’s stockpiles of petroleum reserves to deal with sudden shortages or steep price increases. It provides federal incentives for projects to capture and store carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, and encourages a solution to the problem of storing nuclear waste. full articleBoth Republicans and Democrats are hoping to strengthen the bill, for their respective positions, on the floor.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I am excited to announce that we have 17 co-sponsors:
Rep. Patrick Kennedy [D, RI-1]
and 17 Co-Sponsor
Rep. Tammy Baldwin [D, WI-2]
Rep. Dan Burton [R, IN-5]
Rep. Lois Capps [D, CA-23]
Rep. Russ Carnahan [D, MO-3]
Rep. Gerald Connolly [D, VA-11]
Rep. John Conyers [D, MI-14]
Rep. Joe Courtney [D, CT-2]
Rep. Diana DeGette [D, CO-1]
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson [R, MO-8]
Rep. Barton Gordon [D, TN-6]
Rep. Steven LaTourette [R, OH-14]
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R, MI-11]
Rep. James Moran [D, VA-8]
Rep. Grace Napolitano [D, CA-38]
Rep. Todd Platts [R, PA-19]
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-18]
Rep. Christopher Smith [R, NJ-4]
Amendments to H.R.1193
The Hill reports:
Under President Bush, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff approved two waivers that disburden fence planners of having to comply with "all federal, state or other laws, regulations and legal requirements" of construction. full article
This includes the ability to ignore the Endangered Species Act and and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The older version of ENDA was--despite a lot of controversy--split into two bills, separating sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill did nothing in the Senate and died. Now, Frank claims the political climate is more conducive to pass with protections against gender-based discrimination and sexual orientation in one shot.
Southern Voice reports:
Sanchez said that, as of Wednesday, the bill had eight House co-sponsors, including four Democrats and four Republicans. Among the sponsors were gay House members Frank, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). The lead Republican sponsor is Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). full article
In an Oval Office ceremony, Obama signed a presidential memorandum that gives same-sex domestic partners of federal employees access to long-term-care insurance benefits and allows civil servants to use sick leave to care for ailing domestic partners and children not related by blood or adoption. He also ordered the Office of Personnel Management to advise agencies within 90 days on how to comply with anti-discrimination regulations. full article
I am so angered by all of the money and resources wasted on this Click It or Ticket business.
A) I agree that minors should be legally required to wear seat belts and that the state can legitimately seek to enforce the safety of those who are not of legal age to decide for themselves, and who may or may not have adequate legal guardians.
B) I am an adult. How I decide to sit in my own car, so long as I am not harming or potentially harming another, is my business only. The state needs to leave my body alone.
C) WE ARE IN A FISCAL CRISIS. Why in the world are national and local funds spending money to advertise this junk, especially when the target group is males from age 18-34?
THESE ARE NOT EVEN MINORS. If the ad campaign sought to crack down on the deaths of small children, perhaps I could muster up some understanding.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I also hate the default imagery associated with veganism.
Check out Vegans Against PETA
The dismissal came shortly after June 1st, when President Obama declared June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. While the religious right is outraged, evangelicals are not Obama voters to begin with. No political loss.
Although I am not a fan of marriage, it is clear to me that a marriage license is a tangible item, and dedicating a month is abstract, symbolic and not particularly productive. I am not impressed by the dog and pony show.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
In Kalimantan, Indonesia, paying for each carbon ton saved proved more valuable than a plantation.
This raises the question: can we pay poorer nations to conserve their lands?
Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
The main goal in this initiative is to target apartment buildings; only 25% of multi-tenant buildings offer recycling.
Of course, there are objections, with some locals complaining that the role of government is not to be sorting through private trashcans.
While I am all for the government backing off, the over-proliferation of trash, hyper-consumption, limited lands available for dumping, and the consequences of pollution and carbon emissions both merit and demand government intervention.
Check out the full article
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
While Rep. Waxman rattled off some of the key provisions of the bill in his opening statement, Rep. Markey followed up with a grim report of Republican opposition--including references to green jobs as "sub-prime" jobs and "paper machete" jobs. Even more ominious, he explained the alternative plan generated by our friends across the aisle: more and more coal. Rep. Markey likened the climate-change skepticism and heavy coal initiative as "going from one pack of Camels a day to two packs of Camels a day."
However if Rep. Markey thought the only skepticism was coming from the GOP, he was mistaken. Climate advocates are wary of ACES, calling the renewable energy standards (RES) inefficient, offsets inadequate, the role of nuclear and coal questionable, and the helplessness of the EPA as unacceptable. The conversation was an hour long, but here are points that I found most critical:
- In response to credits awarded to nuclear and the acceptance of coal as an energy source, Rep. Waxman reiterated that nuclear energy is not considered renewable. However, he did stress that the main goal of this intiative is to reduce carbon emission. If industries can reduce emissions while adapting coal use to new targets, that is acceptable. The objective is to keep pressing down on total carbon emissions. While both members understand that coal is a heavy contributor to emissions, so long as reductions are met, we are ahead of the game. In short, coal can be a part of our energy future so long as reductions are met, and the coal is produced on our own turf as a measure of domestic security.
- In response to concerns that standards are not tight enough, the members explained that this bill simply provides a floor, but not a ceiling. The only exception is that, in terms of cap-and-trade, states must refrain from running their own cap-and-trade systems from 2012-2017 so that the national program can be put in place. During this time, however, states may tighten emissions standards. Under ACES, states will also receive money for research in efficiency and renewables.
- In response to concern that ACES does not meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) targets, the members explained that the projected reductions of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 will actually be upwards of 23% in consideration of allowances aimed at preventing tropical deforestation. Rep. Markey also added that this is a first step--one that has happened far too late, thanks to the last administration--and that new bills considering current scientific findings will be introduced in years to come. These issues will be monitored as we go forward.
- As for uproar that 85% of allowances will be given away for free to polluters under the cap-and-trade system, staffers asserted that this is an incorrect statement. The configuration of 85% of total permits awarded for free to polluters is inaccurate, because this number also includes allowances that will be given to individual states, consumers, and in helping businesses transition. Additionally, 100% auction would pass enormous costs onto consumers in electricity bills. The current initiative is aimed to ease the transition, which will currently cost Americans less than a postage stamp a day (unlike Republican claims that this will cost families thousands of dollars).
- Vague answers include whether or not offsets, which can be purchased by companies as a means of meeting reductions, will undermine the bill through over-relying on offsets, incentives to create useless projects to produce offsets, or sub-par offsets. Staffers assured that the bill has 50 pages of detailed text to create quality offsets and agreements between countries to ensure that international offsets are as high in quality as domestic offsets.
- Lastly, answers provided to explain the inability of the EPA to regulate coal plants were entirely unclear to me. Staffers explained that consensus and creating a coalition on this bill is key, and that performance standards for coal are going forward. When the recording of the conference is released, I will re-examine this issue. I heard no answer the first time around.
Get ideas and organize an event here.
Or locate events in your area.
For all of you Colonic readers, I will be organizing something in the LA area, but need to work out a few particulars before I register my event. If you're interested, please email me.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Check out the full article
Harvard University will announce tomorrow that it will establish an endowed chair in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, in what is believed to be the first professorship of its kind in the country.
Harvard President Drew G. Faust described the academic post as an important milestone in an ongoing effort by faculty, students, and alumni to raise the profile of LGBT studies at the university.The university has received a $1.5 million gift from the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus...
This raises the issues of "visibility at what cost?" Enclaves, whether religious, ethnic, or sexual, are created when a group of people is "othered" or differentiated on the basis of a specific characteristic. This is why I believe that Judaism is alive today--because of the vicious and even more subtle forms of Antisemitism that have followed Jewish people throughout history. Tolerance and assimilation would not have forced into preservation a strong identity and rich cultural heritage the way fierce hatred excluded and thereby cultivated a growing and strengthening sense of Jewry over time.
I think it's far too utopian to suggest that the acceptance of diverse sexuality will lead to the magical disappearance of gay bars. Exhibit A: Prop 8. However, I think communities will face changes differently at different times. And while many people choose to assimilate, others still choose to self-segregate--and some prefer a hybrid of the two.
Sign up here
Friday, June 5, 2009
The city is also promoting vegetarian meals in its canteens, schools and restaurants. Kindergartens and primary schools will offer vegetarian meals on Thursdays from September 2009. A city hospital has expressed interested in taking part as well and Balthazar hopes Ghent University will soon follow these leads.
The campaign also includes free vegetarian recipes in the free city magazine, cooking workshops for professionals and distributing a map of Ghent that indicates restaurants offering vegetarian options.
Ethical Vegetarian Awareness, which is behind the campaign, says that if every Ghent resident were to go meatless for just one day a week for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off the road. Full article
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
That's right, folks. Female sexual desire is recognized only in times of desperation as a new quirk to hopefully make a few.
Read the article