November 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Lies They Tell to Win

Archbishop Timothy Dolan leads an elite group known as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who insists that their view of abortion should be everyone’s view of abortion. They have ordered the local priest and churches to command followers of Catholicism fall into line and support the push to eliminate abortion, birth control, and family planning assistance.

New Research on Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs

The Ongoing Benefit

It seems like Gay-Straight Alliances are always in the news; a lone renegade parent trying to close a well established group down; questions about use of school facilities; problems with signs advertising clubs being torn down. But a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Science reveals that despite the difficulties and controversy, GSAs are once again shown to be worth fighting for. Although other research has shown that presence of GSAs improve school experiences for LGBT youth while they were actually in school, this is the first research that showed the long term benefits of such clubs.

A Plea to the Current Administration

Small Solutions to Help the Unemployed

The desire to be productive is not lost on any of the unemployed nor do we seek to be taken care of by any entity other than ourselves. We simply wish for policies that will make obtaining employment easier, allow those that no longer have fantastic credit scores to be business owners, restore the manufacturing base and infrastructure as well as deeply cutting the outsourcing of jobs. While I realize that mine is just a small voice in a sea of millions, I am hoping that it will be heard.

Good News at Google

Creating a Gold Standard

We all know that Google may not be great at creating from-scratch social networking applications that people actually use; goodbye Google Buzz, Google Plus has resulted in little more than a yawn.  But they just created what transgender law experts are saying may well be the "Gold Standard" for transgender health benefits so perhaps we'll forgive them their social networking failures.

According to the LGBT newsmagazine the Advocate, on November 18th, 2011, Google doubled the health benefits available to all full time employees for transgender care. Previously, the maximum was set at $35,000 but this change brought the maximum to $75,000. The change goes into effect immediately. The benefits are part of the current insurance package offered by Google's current insurance providers. Although the benefit is currently limited to Google employees in the United States, Google has stated that they will extend the benefits to their international employees, although there is no specific timeline for doing so.

Energy Self Sufficiency: A Bipartisan Goal

 

The politics of the United States has never been more partisan than they are right now. It seems like whatever the Democrats want, the Republicans are dedicated to ruining and vice versa. The wants and needs of the people have fallen to the wayside in favor of petty squabbles and finger pointing.

The Senate and House of Representatives have regressed into a schoolyard playground. It's all a power play and the American people are the ones that are losing out. There is no longer any right or wrong only Democrat or Republican.

Even the candidates for office have no interest in changing how things are done and the one that do are soon either brought into the fold or exiled in one term, by their own party nonetheless.

Counting Queers

But Which Queers Count?

The Williams Institute out of UCA, a partner in evaluating US Census data, recently released their evaluations of early information collected as part of the 2010 Census. The information indicated that numbers of same sex couples dramatically increased in certain states. Or to be more precise, the number of people who reported being in same sex couples increased. For example, in Alabama last year's census found 11,259 households headed by same-sex couples. The number of same-sex couples as head of household in Alabama was 8,109 in 2000. The 2010 number is 39 percent higher. Even more dramatic results results were found in Hawaii; the Census Bureau reported an increase of 78 percent in same-sex couples headed households.

Ron Paul is a Racist Homophobe

I have to admit that a few years ago—before Barack Obama was even running for president—I was a Ron Paul supporter (cringe!). I hadn’t researched him much, but I actually liked a few things that he said on an episode of Bill Maher—particularly brining the troops home. I’m not a libertarian, but I liked some of his stances and I thought he was well-spoken. I also liked that he supported homeschoolers.

Unique? Now That's A Good One!

I'm not really one of those queers who thinks marriage is what we should be fighting for. In fact, I feel the fight for marriage actually masks bigger problems we should be addressing. For example, a common argument to make gay marriage a priority is marriage is needed so that partners can provide health care for each other. But really, should health care be based on relationship status? How about basing access to health care on something crazy like, I don't know, needing health care?

Gen Silent

The Aging T in the LGBT Movement

I was recently on a panel on LGBT aging that took place after a showing Gen Silent, a documentary about LGBT seniors going back in the closet because of fears of discrimination, bullying and abuse. The film, which was surprisingly hopeful considering the grave subject matter, left many of the audience (mostly nursing students and other health care providers) in tears.

Jihad in The Middle East

America Needs to Stand With Israel

 

          

   The Arab spring continues unabated in the Middle East.  So far away, or so it would appear, media coverage of the revolutions, especially in the West tends to focus on the positive need for democracy and how this is a step forward for the region.  However, what is slowly becoming apparent is that they are very selectively choosing what information to broadly distribute and how that information is portrayed.

Stop the Humiliation and Physical Harm in School Bathroom Use

We’ve all seen the commercials for fiber supplements that claim we can all be regular each day. However, for most of us, this is simply not true. If you are drinking enough water (and most children aren’t, since they aren’t allowed to drink water from a fountain at will or to keep it at their desks), you probably have to pee a lot. As far as defecating, well, we all have to do it—and “holding” either of these body processes in, particularly when you have the small organs the size of a child’s rather than an adult’s, is not healthy. And it’s not compassionate to demand it of any child.

Sign the Cotton Crimes Petition

Take a stand against child slavery in Uzbekistan

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to sign the Cotton Crimes petition today. It will only take seconds of your life to speak for these children living in actual slavery. We aren’t talking sweatshops—which is bad enough—but actual unpaid work by children, some of them as young as nine. I know nine-year-olds who don’t even have chores; could you imagine any nine-year-olds you know being forced to labor in fields at their age, and for no pay?

I'm Not Too Lazy to Write This Letter to You, Obama

 

It has now become so clear now that I know it’s my entire fault. America would still strive if I weren’t so lazy. America would be strong if I wasn’t already behind before I even began my education period in life. This from my American President, it should almost be considered treason at the very least it’s anti-patriotic and unbefitting of the President of the United States.

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Tom Wicker Dies, He Will be Remembered

"Tom Wicker will always be remembered as one of the great journalist that opened the steel doors of secrets."

This may be slightly off topic but I wanted to take a few moments to honor a great man and writer who has laid down his pin for the last time. Tom Wicker has passed away today in his home, he was 85 years old. He brought challenge, opinion and downright no holds barred journalism into public light.

Four Cups of Coffee + Female Hormones = Reduced Cancer Risk

Call it a coffee lover’s tentative optimism

 

It’s not often I get to deliver excited news specifically geared towards women, I must say that I’m thrilled as a women and an avid coffee drinker that my coffee drinking habits can reduce any potential risk I may have had in developing endometrial cancer. So yes ladies, have one more delicious hot cup of coffee.

Tolerance Doesn't Mean Liking Each Other...

It Just Means Putting Up With Each Other

“Tolerance” is defined as the willingness to put up with something you don't like. We can't expect other people to share all of our values, so we can't expect everyone else to approve of us. You might disapprove of me because I've been divorced, or I might disapprove of you because your religion is different from mine. We have the right to disapprove of each other.

 

What we don't have the right to do is to try to harm each other or keep each other from fully participating in the basic structures of society that make life possible. So even if I think your religion is a little sillier than mine, I don't have the right to keep you from working or from renting an apartment. And even if you think my sexual behaviors are more deviant than yours, you don't have the right to try to make it so I can't live a decent life- assuming, of course, that I'm not harming anyone.

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