Stepping Through the Mirror

Puerto Rico Statehood Experts Challenge Results

A vote in Puerto Rico over the island’s status as a U.S. territory has triggered a fierce debate over whether a majority voted to become the 51st state.

The island territory has been debating the issue for decades and pro-statehood politicians are celebrating Tuesday’s vote claiming it was the first time in 45 years that Puerto Ricans have voted for statehood.

Others, however, are challenging that conclusion and argue that the vote indicates opposition to statehood.

“Puerto Ricans in general are just dissatisfied with the current government,” Yarimar Bonilla, a Rutgers University assistant professor of anthropology and Caribbean studies, told ABCNews.com. “They voted against the government in place and they voted for change.” …

“If you take into account the number of people who want to continue with the status that they have now and the amount of people who voted for an option other than statehood, then statehood doesn’t have a majority vote,” she said. …

 “The state party was defeated in the general election,” Edgardo Melendez, a Hunter College professor in the Department of Africana & Puerto Rican/Latino Studies told ABCNews.com. “The statehood governor lost. They lost both chambers of the legislature. This is a general victory for the Popular Democratic party, which supports commonwealth.” …

“If you compare what statehood got in this election with previous plebiscites, it’s not such a big difference,” Melendez said. “There is no real growth in the statehood option so we have to be very, very careful in saying this is a victory for statehood because it’s not.”



A free-to-use font designed to help people with dyslexia read online content is gaining favour.
OpenDyslexic’s characters have been given “heavy-weighted bottoms” to prevent them from flipping and swapping around in the minds of their readers.
A recent update to the popular app Instapaper has adopted the text format as an option for its users.
The font has also been built into a word processor, an ebook reader and has been installed on school computers.
The project was created by Abelardo Gonzalez, a New Hampshire-based mobile app designer, who released his designs onto the web at the end of last year. …

A free-to-use font designed to help people with dyslexia read online content is gaining favour.

OpenDyslexic’s characters have been given “heavy-weighted bottoms” to prevent them from flipping and swapping around in the minds of their readers.

A recent update to the popular app Instapaper has adopted the text format as an option for its users.

The font has also been built into a word processor, an ebook reader and has been installed on school computers.

The project was created by Abelardo Gonzalez, a New Hampshire-based mobile app designer, who released his designs onto the web at the end of last year. …

Pediatricians Decide Boys Are Better Off Circumcised Than Not

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday announced its first major shift on circumcision in more than a decade, concluding that the health benefits of the procedure clearly outweigh any risks. …

[T]he pediatricians group hopes the new recommendations will encourage more parents to circumcise their sons — and more insurance plans to pay for it. 

The Hands That Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain sampled 20 million food industry workers from the five major areas of the food industry—production (farmworkers), processing (slaughterhouse workers), distribution (warehouse workers), retail (grocery store workers) and service (restaurant workers). It found that only 13.5 percent of all workers receive a living wage; 86 percent of workers reported receiving poverty-level wages… The study also found food-sector workers are, ironically, twice as likely to receive food stamps, confront a food shortage in their daily lives, and experience dependence on other government-provided services like Medicaid and energy assistance. Along with examining food-sector workers’ dependence on government assistance and wages, the report examined working conditions and found that food-sector workers face high levels of wage theft, little opportunity for mobility, deficient access to benefits like health insurance, and a high chance of injury on the job. Eighty-one percent of workers in the food sector never received a promotion in their job, and 79 percent did not have sick days, according to the report. Fifty-eight percent were not covered by any type of health insurance, despite the fact that 57 percent of the surveyed workers reported having suffered an injury on their job site. The report also found that 36 percent of surveyed workers experienced wage theft in the week prior to the survey.
Intelligence Report, Spring 2012, Issue Number:  145
Southern Poverty Law Center
By Mark Potok, Senior Fellow


The radical right grew explosively in 2011, the third such dramatic expansion in as many years. The growth was fueled by superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.

The number of hate groups counted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) last year reached a total of 1,018, up slightly from the year before but continuing a trend of significant growth that is now more than a decade old. The truly stunning growth came in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy.

…

ANTI-GAY GROUPS
The LGBT community made significant advances in 2011, with the repeal of the “Don’t Act, Don’t Tell” policy on gay men and lesbians in the military, the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage by Americans and the legalization of such bonds in New York state. But it was precisely these advances that seemed to set off a furious rage on the religious right, with renewed efforts to ban or repeal marriage equality and what seemed to be an intensification of anti-gay propaganda in certain quarters. … Overall, the number of anti-gay hate groups in the United States rose markedly, going from 17 in 2010 to 27 last year.


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Intelligence Report, Spring 2012, Issue Number:  145

Southern Poverty Law Center

By Mark Potok, Senior Fellow

The radical right grew explosively in 2011, the third such dramatic expansion in as many years. The growth was fueled by superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.

The number of hate groups counted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) last year reached a total of 1,018, up slightly from the year before but continuing a trend of significant growth that is now more than a decade old. The truly stunning growth came in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy.

ANTI-GAY GROUPS

The LGBT community made significant advances in 2011, with the repeal of the “Don’t Act, Don’t Tell” policy on gay men and lesbians in the military, the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage by Americans and the legalization of such bonds in New York state. But it was precisely these advances that seemed to set off a furious rage on the religious right, with renewed efforts to ban or repeal marriage equality and what seemed to be an intensification of anti-gay propaganda in certain quarters. … Overall, the number of anti-gay hate groups in the United States rose markedly, going from 17 in 2010 to 27 last year.


Cynthia Nixon debuts bald look for her role in the Broadway production of Wit, where she plays a cancer ridden poetry professor.

Preview Betty White’s new reality show Off Their Rockers.

"The saying is Respect your elders.  There’s nothing in there about us respecting you back.”

Patrick Michels at Texas Observer: Texas Gets Pass to Enforce 'Empowering' Pre-Abortion Sonogram Law

meloukhia:

The law says women seeking an abortion must have a sonogram done 24 hours prior, and their doctor must play audio of the fetal heartbeat and describe what’s on the screen. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights jumped into federal court to challenge the law this summer, andin August, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin put the law’s enforcement on hold, agreeing that many of its new requirements violated doctors’ and patients’ free speech rights.

Sparks wrote the law “compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen.”

I think that title needs something stronger than scare quotes. 

This is the most recent ruling:

Appellate Ruling Upholds Texas Abortion Law

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday [January 10, 2012] upheld a Texas law that requires women seeking an abortion to have a sonogram exam and to listen to a physician’s detailed description of the fetus, including whether it has developed limbs or internal organs.

The Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204124204577152992567818170.html?KEYWORDS=health+law

(Source: se-smith)

Announcements: Melissa Harris-Perry Has Her Own Show!

racialicious:

We at the R join the congratulations chorus in giving love to one of our favorite public intellectuals, Melissa Harris-Perry, on getting her own show on MSNBC! The show’s premiere is Saturday, February 4, from 10AM to noon. Its regular slot is Saturdays and Sundays in that time slot. 

This is how we celebrated backstage here at the R:

and Racialicious is now on Tumblr!

Call For Zine Submissions….

Milwaukee LGBT Community Center

December 2011 Center Connects

Volume 2, Issue 21

Call For Zine Submissions….

Trans/Genderqueer adolescence stories.

Topic:Essays, anecdotes, comix, poetry from Trans and Genderqueer folks telling stories of going through puberty and adolescence. Take that as broadly or specifically as you’d like; literally how your body was changing and how your brain was dealing with it, or going to a dance and how that made you feel, to coming out to your family, teachers, classmates, etc…

Audience:  7-12 grade students.

Specifics: The pieces should be free of cursing and super overt sexual content. Keep in mind that 7th graders are about 13 years old.

Why/Purpose:I taught a piece from the zine, The Next Body, in my 7/8th grade zine writing class, in it the writer is discussing his decision to have top surgery. After class a student approached me asking for an extra copy of the piece to give to her friend who has recently come out as Trans. “She is getting super big breasts and having a hard time dealing with it” my student told me. I gave her an extra copy of the piece and went home to dig through my books and zines to find more I could offer. It’s rough trying find age appropriate material for a Trans kid. It’s imperative that young people who are Trans and Genderqueer see themselves in print. I know, I know… all GLBT kids should see themselves in print but it’s extra hard to find Trans material, that’s why I want to start with the T as opposed to GLB.

Puberty and adolescence are hard for everyone but it’s extra alienating and difficult when you feel alone and radically different from everyone else. I want this zine to be an offering to Trans and Genderqueer kids who need to see themselves in print, to know that they are not alone. I want it to offer comfort and hope to some young people who may be struggling. I want it to open the eyes and hearts of non-trans kids so they become allies. I also hope to open up dialogue between students, parents and teachers. It’s my job to teach students reading and writing but the bigger more satisfying and important part of my job is to offer support, care, and guidance to ALL kids in their emotional and personal development. Unfortunately, as a society, we’re forgetting some kids, we’re looking the other way when Trans kids need us to look right at them and say “You are okay, you are in fact, amazing - just the way you are. And you’re not alone either.” I’d like this zine to be a move towards that.

I keep this quote in mind when I’m writing curriculum and deciding what to teach for the year. Perhaps it will inspire you.

"When those who have the power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see or hear you, whether you are dark-skinned, old, disabled, female, or speak with a different accent or dialect than theirs, when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes a world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.”

 –Adrianne Rich

Send submissions to: Brilliantmistake01@gmail.com

Please send as an attachment in basic word formatting with “Zine Submission” as the subject. (Art submissions will have different specifics; 300 dpi grayscale, bitmap lineart 600 dpi or higher.

Include; a title for your piece, how you’d like to be credited - the name you’d like to use, and any contact info you want included in the zine. If you’d like a copy of the finished zine send me your mailing address.

Deadline:March 1, 2012.

Publication: April, 2012

You can e-mail me at Brilliantmistake01@gmail.com with questions, suggestions, complains, that kinda stuff too. Thanks!

Carrie

How To Wrap Your Cat

Second Neti-Pot Death From Amoeba Prompts Tap-Water Warning

"Drinking water is good to drink, very safe to drink, but not to push up your nose," says Raoult Ratard, state epidemiologist for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Two residents of his state have died after using neti pots this year, the first known deaths associated with neti pots. 

U.S. Government Licenses Patent for Medical Marijuana

Dec. 15, 2011–The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients has just discovered that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is about to award an exclusive license to KannaLife Sciences, Inc. of New York to develop medical therapeutics based on the chemistry of cannabis.

Preview of the big day

JUNE 15

By Julia Rosen

Are your refresh fingers rested and ready to go?

The closing arguments are nearly here and I for one can’t wait for the nerdy, but incredibly important fun. Let’s go over what the day has in store for us.

Follow all of the liveblogging updates from Courage Campaign Chair and Founder Rick Jacobs right here. 

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