Wednesday, September 30, 2009

dairy cows have it the worst

Law school is really taking a toll on The Colonic. My apologies. Hopefully, I'll get into a better swing of things.

Before I hit the books, I thought I would clear up the air about dairy cows.

There is a belief that dairy is a happy-cow sort of product. No killing, just milk extraction. Actually, dairy cows have it the worst. I like PETA's explanation of the double-whammy that dairy cows face:

Cows on dairy factory farms often spend years in intensive confinement, forced to stand in feces- and urine-soaked mud as they’re repeatedly impregnated and pushed to produce huge amounts of milk that strain their bodies.Eventually, their bodies give out from the strain, and their “thank you” is to be loaded on a truck and sold for slaughter.

…Our investigator witnessed lame cows struggling to stand and walk as they were herded to the milking machines; cows who could not stand on their own being kicked, jabbed in the spine with a blade, and electro-shocked; and dying cows who were denied even a mercy killing to relieve their pain.

Ethical treatment of animals aside, this is a repulsive breeding ground for bacteria and other health disasters.


*A note about PETA: I only support PETA in it's undercover footage and a small handful of publicity stunts (pregnant women in pig cages was awesome). Their ads are generally either sexist, transphobic, weightist, or some humiliate some other minority.

Boxer & Kerry drop a climate bill

Finally, we're making some moves (and riiighttt before the Power Shift Regional Summits, no less).

I don't have time to get too crazy right now, but here is a quick summary:

"Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act," comes in at 821 pages, starting with a mandate by 2020 to curb the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels. It omits many details, leaving negotiations with Democrats and Republican moderates to fill in the blanks.

But the measure offers specifics on several critical issues, ranging from incentives for natural gas and nuclear power to how Congress can promote tree planting and sustainable farming practices as alternative compliance options for industry.

The bill's sponsors also sought to change the legislative lingo surrounding the bill, dropping references to "cap and trade." Instead, Boxer and Kerry released a summary of their bill that labeled greenhouse gas trading provisions as a "Pollution Reduction and Investment" program. Boxer also touted a proposal allocating emission allowances that is aimed at fiscal conservatives who think past climate proposals cost too much.

"The bill does not add one penny to the deficit," Boxer said. "We're very excited about that." full article

coal company settles lawsuit regarding toxic mine

I've been posting a lot about coal mining, its contamination of water, and public health. Finally, some relief:

A coalition of environmental groups emerged victorious today when Patriot Coal agreed to test a new way to remove selenium from coal mine run-off.

The West Virginia-based coal company agreed to the deal to settle a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy which made allegations that the company had violated the Clean Water Act.

The company will test a reverse osmosis process that could cost up to $350,000 and also agreed to pay the environmental groups’ legal fees and a $50,000 fine. By striking the deal, they bought themselves more time to make the change; they now have until April 5th, 2010, nearly a full year extension. full article

Monday, September 28, 2009

Power Shift regional summits

If you've been missing Power Shift because it has been too difficult to travel to DC, check out the regional Power Shift summits. I'll be hitting up the Virginia summit.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

speaking of renewable energy going nowhere fast...

Here's an uplifting (sarcasm for upsetting) piece from the New York Times regarding this week's global meeting of world leaders and their discussion on climate change:

The negotiations for a new international agreement to curb emissions of greenhouse gases have stalled, making an agreement in Copenhagen by December difficult.

...In speech after speech, presidents and prime ministers of countries large and small spoke with soaring promises about the importance of confronting the problem for future generations. But when it came down to the nuts-and-bolts promises of what they were prepared to do in the next decade, experts and analysts were disappointed that there were no bold new proposals, particularly from the United States. full article

Senate Dems do something for the environment

Since I have yet to post my official blog on my opinions about health care reform dominating political discourse and the public forum--putting the environment on the back burner--suffice it to say that I am happy to hear (small) moves are still happening (slowly, and without visibility).

CREDO recently had a call-to-action because:

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has proposed an amendment to EPA's fiscal 2010 spending bill that would strip EPA of the ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants and polluting industries.

I know. Imagine my anger. But now CREDO has shut the campaign down because Senate Democrats were able to prevent it from hitting the floor. woot woot.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

states can sue utilities over emissions

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave 8 states (California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin) the green light in their law suit against several large coal-burning facilities (American Electric Power, Southern Corporation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy and Cinergy Corporation).

The states allege that the emissions of the defendants are creating a public nuisance due to emissions contributing to climate change.

What's the big picture? States can sue utility companies over emissions. Woot woot. With that thought, I gladly go to torts class. Read the full article.

This will be a great case to follow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

DNC governing body gets first trans member

I've been thinking that The Colonic needs to include some more positive news. Well, here it is--positive news:

The Democratic National Committee voted last week to welcome a transgender woman to its ranks, the first time that a major U.S. political party has appointed an openly transgender person to its national governing body.

Transgender activist Barbra Casbar Siperstein, president of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats, a statewide LGBT organization, was among six new LGBT people nominated Sept. 7 by DNC Chair and Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine for at-large seats on the 447-member DNC.

The six LGBT nominees were among 75 at-large DNC nominees that the full DNC approved Sept. 11 during a meeting in Austin, Texas. The additions bring the total number of LGBT people sitting on the DNC to 25, up from 15 in 2008, and boost the membership of the DNC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Americans Caucus to its highest level since the party officially recognized the caucus in 1998. full article

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sara Bareilles repping the LGBT cause

Sara Bareilles is dropping a new album, and repping the cause:

Bareilles is scheduled to perform October 26 at New York's Feinstein's at Lowes Regency. The event is a benefit for Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund, which aims to further gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activism, and Broadway Impact, a grassroots organization that supports marriage equality. full article


DOMA repeal introduced. Take action here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

call in for a clean climate

Call your Senators today and tell them to pass a strong clean energy bill. Take action here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

House Dems and the Respect for Marriage Act

Great news: House Democrats are taking on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which reserves marriage for "heterosexual" couples.

Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis appeared along with same-sex marriage advocates at a Tuesday morning news conference to announce the introduction of the bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act. full article

The bill already has 90 co-sponsors.

Point of clarification: I included "heterosexual" in quotation marks because the term really isn't so straight forward. If marriage is between a "man" and a "woman," that doesn't really say much in terms of biology versus gender performance/identity. In other words, if I am a trans woman whose life partner is a woman, unless I have changed my legal gender status, my relationship can operate as "man" and "wife" legally--although not so much on an everyday basis. Alternatively, if I am a trans man married to a woman, and have changed my legal gender status, I can function as "heterosexual"--but if I have not changed my legal status, I cannot function as "heterosexual," despite the fact that I pass as "hetero-" with my partner.

If I am in a same-sex female partnership, but my partner has a male gender identity, this nuances the discussion of "male" and "female" because my partner identifies as male, while being biologically female.

Clearly, I can enumerate many different scenarios. My point is, and I constantly revisit this on my blog, it is not enough to say female/male "sex" or "gender." Social conservatism insists on a specific relationship between a certain set of genitals, and a certain gender performance, i.e. biological vagina and feminine gender identity (as opposed to biological vagina and masculine gender identity); it does not allow for mix and match.

The Colonic, on the other hand, does allow for mixing and matching. So when I hear "heterosexual," there is more at hand.

woot woot

The Colonic has hit (and exceeded) 100 fans on Facebook! If you're not a fan, you can become one here.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Here's a picture of life near a coal companies in West Virginia:

In fact, her entire family tries to avoid any contact with the water. Her youngest son has scabs on his arms, legs and chest where the bathwater — polluted with lead, nickel and other heavy metals — caused painful rashes. Many of his brother’s teeth were capped to replace enamel that was eaten away.

Neighbors apply special lotions after showering because their skin burns. Tests show that their tap water contains arsenic, barium, lead, manganese and other chemicals at concentrations federal regulators say could contribute to cancer and damage the kidneys and nervous system.

Despite lawsuits, state regulators have not punished these companies for breaking pollution laws. read the full article

In case you missed my post urging action against Verizon for sponsoring a large pro-coal rally, check it out. Again, if you use Verizon, this is a great time to drop it like it's hot.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Please check out this truly chilling clip posted on the New York Times about coal mines,water contamination, children with cancer, and multiple deaths of young people in a single small neighborhood.

Unfortunately, I can't embed the clip, so follow the link.

If you didn't catch my post about Verizon and its sponsorship of a large pro-coal rally, please take a look now. If you use Verizon, now would be a great time to switch cell phone service.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I think only vegans would find this funny...

Rush Limbaugh gets jiggy with the Humane Society

Turns out their is a softer side to Rush Limbaugh--he's an animal lover. Actually, I would say he is a pretty dedicated animal lover since he has actually recorded 2 public service announcements for the Humane Society, sparking outrage from sports groups around the country. Bud Pidgeon, president of US Sportsmen Alliance commented:

"It is our hope that once Mr. Limbaugh hears from American sportsmen and women he will understand how his endorsement aids [the Humane Society] in its quest to to destroy American freedoms such as hunting, fishing and trapping." full article

The announcements, however, have nothing to do with hunting. One encourages the religious to be stewards of god's creatures, and the other is against illegal dog-fighting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

jailed for wearing pants

All I have to say for this one is "you go girl."

The New York Times reports:

A Sudanese woman who wore pants in public was fined the equivalent of $200 but spared a whipping on Monday when a court found her guilty of violating Sudan's decency laws...Mrs. Hussein vowed to appeal the sentence and even walked into the court in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, wearing the same pair of loose-fitting green slacks that she had been arrested in.

But Mrs. Hussein refused to pay at all, facing instead a one-month prison sentence.

Mrs. Hussein said flatly: “I would spend a month in jail. It is a chance to explore the conditions in jail.” read the full article.

On Monday night, she was taken to jail, and demonstrations have erupted since. Love the sense of pride, bravery, and adventure she took in handling this issue.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

what does Verizon have to do with dirty coal?

That's right. Verizon Wireless is funding an anti-environmental rally.

Verizon and Massey Energy (known for having to pay the EPA $20 million for over 4,500 violations of the Clean Water Act) are sponsoring the "Friends of America" event this weekend at a coal mine is West Virginia. The point? To rally against the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which includes provisions for cap-and-trade. The event will be filled at maximum capacity.

Enjoy the following invitation from the CEO of Massey:

"Hello I'm Don Blankenship and I'd like to invite you to a Labor Day rally in West Virginia. We're going to have Hank Williams and have a good time but we're also going to learn how environmental extremists and corporate America are both trying to destroy your jobs."

It gets better. Before this campaign was launched, CREDO Action reached out to Verizon:

Becky Bond, our Political Director, then sent a cordial follow-up to give Verizon Wireless a heads-up that our campaign had launched. Verizon replied as follows:

"This is how our response is going over with the activists. Becky once lived in a tree for a while. At least now I know where the emails are coming from."
— James Gerace, VP of Corporate Communications at Verizon Wireless

What can you do?
1) If you use Verizon, drop it like it's hot. Then tell your friends and fam.
2) Sign the petition here

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

protecting our trans communities: CA and the Equal ID Act

Nice work, California:

California State Senate joined the Assembly in passing the Equal ID Act by a 22-14 vote. The bill, AB 1185, sponsored by Equality California (EQCA) and introduced by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), expands legal protections for transgender people born in California. If signed by the Governor, the new law would allow qualified transgender people born in California to return to the county of their birth and obtain a court order reflecting their correct gender and an accompanying name change, if applicable. The court order is then used to obtain a corrected California birth certificate. full article

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

more on male privilege

Aggravating incident on the day:

Someone told me today that he finds it irritating that our text book uses default female pronouns.

I told him that I was sorry that his male privilege was being disrupted.