Archive for government

Overnight: If My Uterus Were a Gun

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uterus

Many thanks to Lauren Mayer (here's her website!) for this great 'overnight'. Lauren is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.

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Houston Police & DA's Office Break The Law - Toss 26 Year Military Veteran Into Street

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veteran   Aryeh Ohayon and his dog Bandit

A veteran who has a trained and licensed service dog was recently denied service in a Houston, TX restaurant. That could be just a bit of confusion on the part of the restaurant as to the law. So the disabled Army and Navy veteran, who served his country for 26 years, did what he thought he should do to rectify the situation. He called the police.

Sadly they came. Why sadly? Because they didn't know the law in their state. According to The Raw Story:

Last year, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that made it a misdemeanor to refuse entry to service dogs, irrespective of the disability of their owners.

So this seems quite clear. The vet, Aryeh Ohayon, was within his rights to be served and his being accompanied by a service dog should not have been cause for his embarrassing and unceremonious removal.

But the police officer wasn't the only one ignorant in Houston that day.

Houston Police claim that the officer who responded to the call contacted the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and was told that Thai Spice Buffet II was allowed to bar the door to Ohayon because it is a private establishment.

Ah, the old, "private establishment" excuse. That and the right to religious practices are the two catch phrases hate groups use to discriminate. Fortunately with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a discriminatory bill yesterday, a signal went out loud and clear that being a private establishment doesn't exempt you from discrimination laws.

Kudos to Governor Brewer (R - Arizona). Also kudos to Gov. Rick Perry (R -  Texas) for signing the bill which would allow the military veteran or anyone else with a service dog to enter and be served in any establishment.

But a big "Boo," "hiss" and "up yours" to the Houston police and the Harris County DA's office for not knowing the law they're sworn to uphold. They should at the very least apologize to this brave man who served us all in the military for over a quarter of a century.

Oh, and if you think this is an isolated event, Raw Story adds this:

This is but the latest in a string of refusals to allow service dogs to accompany veterans with mental disabilities like depression or PTSD. Last August, police in New Jersey kicked Jared Goering and his service dog, Gator, off the boardwalk, mockingly asking him if “all veterans get service dogs.”

Later that month, a Massachusetts establishment kicked James Glaser and his dog, Jack, out, claiming that his reason for having him wasn’t “legitimate.”

More on the KHOU-TV website.

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The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

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Today is the day we fight back against massive NSA surveillance.

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THE FACTS

The NSA "has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world."
— THE NEW YORK TIMES

The NSA is collecting the content and metadata of emails, web activity, chats, social networks, and everything else as part of what it calls "upstream" collection.
— THE WASHINGTON POST

The NSA collected "almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks" in one month in 2013.
— THE GUARDIAN

From this website you can call or email your congresspeople, send emails, and add a banner to your WordPress website. Let your representatives know how you feel!

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Destruction Of GOP Talking Points In Real Time

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Nikpour, Boykin

Maybe it's because I'm fighting (and barely holding my own) with the flu, but a day in bed with just the TV to keep me warm when I'm chilled and cooled down when I've feverish, did I get a chance to see two unarmed Republican spokespeople hung out to dry yesterday on Jansing and Company. I write and produce television series for a living. I'm pretty sure when I've hit gold. First it was Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, now it's leading Republican strategist, Noelle Nikpour. In both cases, 24 carat gold.

So what I'm about to share with you is a dollop of love. Here's Democratic strategist Keith Boykin totally destroying Noelle Nikpour. This is a totally dismantlement of the Republican arguments that they're not at war with the poor and middle class.

Now just before you watch this, keep in mind the estimated cost of the three month extension of long term unemployment benefits is just under $26B according to Fox Business news. And in case you forgot, the estimated cost of the government shutdown last year was... $26B. I haven't seen the Republicans looking for any offsets to cover their shutdown.  And we got nothing back for that. Here we're going to see $26B put back into the economy -- saving and perhaps even increasing jobs. What's wrong with this picture?

If you think the Republican plan isn't to harm middle and lower class, hold onto your hats and watch this. When you take in this clip, you'll see all the other programs of spending of the GOP's which had no "off-sets."

Enjoy seeing destruction of the GOP's talking points in real time.

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Video- President's Weekly Address: Weekly Address: Working Together on Behalf of the American People

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Video- The Daily Show: Budget Battle: The Movie

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Genderqueer — Neither Male Nor Female But An Androgynous Hybrid Or Rejection Of Both

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genderqueer

Genderqueer. I'd never heard that term before, but there's lots I've yet to learn.

The newish word is for members who describe themselves in terms such as agender, bigender, third gender or gender-fluid are requesting — and sometimes finding — linguistic recognition. At least that's what they're talking about at Mills College in California.

Yahoo News reports:

The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying their names and the personal pronouns they want others to use when referring to them — she, he or something else.

It's an exercise that might seem superfluous given that Mills, a small and leafy liberal arts school historically referred to as the Vassar of the West, only admits women as undergraduates. Yet increasingly, the "shes" and "hers" that dominate the introductions are keeping third-person company with "they," ''ze" and other neutral alternatives meant to convey a more generous notion of gender.

I actually think this is kind of cool, but at the same time a bit confusing. But then again, try to explain long division or the mating rituals of the American Prairie chicken and you'd loose a lot of people along the way too.

So suffice to say that today, the progressive thinking when it comes to pronouns is to let the individual choose what is most certainly not a selected choice for them -- their sexuality. Everybody is what they are, and that's how they should be referred to.

Take Bradley/Chelsea Manning as an example. We knew him as he. He knew himself as she. Now technically and correctly, she is a she. Unless of course, Manning should prefer to be called by the newer term, "ze."

That's right. Ze. Along with that one, students at Mills are allowed to assign themselves their preferred gender pronouns, known as PGPs. Becoming more and more familiar are such ones as ''sie," ''e," ''ou" and "ve." These have become an accepted practice for professors, dorm advisers, club sponsors, workshop leaders and health care providers at several schools.

So, please do everyone a favor. If you have a preference, feel free to make it known up front. Don't let us call you, her or him if you prefer another term. But also, don't take offense if it takes us a bit of getting used to. I think there are a lot of people like myself who, by the way is a he or him, and I'll stick with that for the time being, who will need a bit of time for the adjustment.

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