Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SCOTUS And Marriage Equality-If Justices Pick Any Of These Seven Cases, The Impact Could Be Huge

1. Herbert v. Kitchen (Utah): SCOTUS briefly dealt with this case earlier this year. In December 2013, a federal district court struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. Weddings began immediately. In January, the high court issued a temporary stay, putting a halt to marriages while the state's appeal was considered. In June, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling that the state's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.

2. Smith v. Bishop (Oklahoma): First filed in 2004, this case originally sought both to overturn Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriages and to recognize marriages performed in other jurisdictions. In January, a district court judge ruled that the state's ban is unconstitutional, but dismissed the portion of the lawsuit addressing marriages from other states, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing. Both sides appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the district court on both counts. In its appeal to SCOTUS, the state of Oklahoma is asking the court to rule exclusively on the marriage question.

3. Bogan v. Baskin (Indiana): This case began as three separate suits filed on behalf of a widow and 11 couples. Several plaintiffs have same-sex marriage licenses from other states that are unrecognized in Indiana. In June, a district court judge consolidated the suits into Baskin, and struck down the state's ban on gay marriage. He did not stay the decision, allowing marriage licenses to be issued immediately. Earlier this month, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision.

4. Walker v. Wolf (Wisconsin): In February, the American Civil Liberties Union filed this case on behalf of eight same-sex couples, three of whom had married in other places. In March, a district court judge denied the state's requests to dismiss the case. In June she ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, overturning Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage. Her ruling was unclear on whether marriages could begin or not: Still, clerks in some cities began marrying couples immediately. Earlier this month, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision.

5, 6, and 7. Rainey v. Bostic, Schaefer v. Bostic, and McQuigg v. Bostic (Virginia): These three cases are different iterations of a suit filed in July 2013 by plaintiffs Timothy Bostic and Tony London, who seek to get married in Virginia. Carol Schall and Mary Townley joined the case in September 2013. They were legally married in California in 2008, but their union is not recognized in the Old Dominion. This has made it impossible for Schall to formally adopt her own daughter. In February, a district court judge ruled on all three cases, concluding that the state's laws barring in-state gay marriages and prohibiting recognition of out-of-state marriage licenses is unconstitutional. In July, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's ruling. A fourth case, Harris v. Rainey, a class action suit, has been incorporated into Rainey v. Bostic.

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Major Poultry Farms Routinely Feed Antibiotics To Chickens

"These are not targeted uses aimed at specific bugs for defined duration. They're multiple, repeat shotgun blasts that will certainly kill off weaker bugs and promote the stronger, more resistant ones."  Keeve Nachman, director of the food production and public health program at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Monday, September 08, 2014

America's Wealth Gap 'Unsustainable' According To Harvard Study

"Thriving citizens become more productive employees, more willing consumers, and stronger supporters of pro-business policies," it said. "Struggling citizens are disgruntled at work, frugal at the cash register, and anti-business at the ballot box." Harvard Business School study

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

This Is What It's Like To Sit Through An Anti-Union Meeting At Work

"They tried to tell us we don't need a union and a third party to come in to negotiate, they said 'y'all could end up losing money, the union people are only here to make money, they won't want to sell office supplies, they go on lavish vacations.' All that stuff. We pushed back on them." Staples Worker

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

In Wake of Arizona Uzi Killing, NRA Tweets About Kids Having Fun With Guns

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

40 Percent Of Restaurant Workers Live In Near-Poverty

"It isn't just fast-food empires that rely on a low-paid, disempowered, and quite-often impoverished workforce. As a stomach-turning new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows, the entire restaurant industry hides a dirty little labor secret under the tasteful lighting of the dining room."

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Study Debunks Big Corporations' Argument About Taxes

"U.S.-based multinationals that are pursuing inversion transactions have been quick to wrap themselves in a mantle of simple virtue, forced to take the unpalatable step of inverting into Irish, U.K. or Swiss public companies because their love goes unrequited by a country that cruelly saddles them with both the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and a uniquely punitive worldwide tax base," This argument "is almost entirely fact-free." Edward Kleinbard, a law professor at the University of Southern California, and a former chief of staff for Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation.

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Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men

From this report history appears to be in law enforcement's favor. Read the article to look at five cases where a unarmed black man was killed by police while allegedly fleeing or resisting in some fashion.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil

Overworked Americans continue to sacrifice more and get less for that extra work. Don't think it has anything to do with you? Take a look at the charts and see just how badly you are being taken for.

All Work and No Pay: The Great Speedup

Harrowing, Heartbreaking Tales of Overworked Americans

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Strafford County Democratic Committee Picnic Recap/Photos

It was a beautiful day for the SCDC Grow Local picnic. The SCDC EC organizers had done a great job of planning and making sure things moved along seamlessly. The sponsor list was incredible this year and I think they probably deserve credit for that as well. There was a large crowd this time that stayed for most of the picnic and everyone seemed to be having a very relaxing day. The food was great, but it always is. We don't all get to see each other often, or for very long when we do, so the annual picnic is the perfect opportunity to catch up with each other.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Voices After Shooting Death Of Michael Brown

Daughter, I said I didn't have it in me to sit with the killing of Michael Brown last night and comb my social media accounts for first-hand anecdotes that would likely be more accurate than anything the news stations would report. I didn't want to watch the Vines or read the Instagram messages under a photo collage of police presence at the crime scene, wailing friends and neighbors, the boy's father holding up a scrap of cardboard scrawled with, "Ferguson Police just executed my unarmed son," and the barely covered body of the boy himself.

I would highly recommend watching the MSNBC video at the bottom of the page of the second link below this.

When Parenting Feels Like a Fool's Errand: On the Death of Michael Brown
Eyewitness to Michael Brown shooting recounts his friend’s death


Ferguson Seeks Answers After Police Shooting Of Michael Brown

9 Powerful Photos That Show Ferguson Is Pretty Much Being Treated Like A War Zone

 Stark Racial Disparities In Ferguson, Missouri, The Town Where Michael Brown Was Shot


 Meet the St. Louis Alderman Who's Keeping an Eye on Ferguson's Cops


Actual Military Veterans Say Cops In Ferguson Are Excessively Armed, Untrained Wannabes


Ferguson Protesters Guard Stores From Looters


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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Zerlina Maxwell Is Here To Educate You About Rape Culture

"Victims of sexual assault have a lot to be afraid about. It turns out that only 3% of rapists ever see the inside of a jail cell. Think about that for a moment. Now that you've thought about it, listen to Zerlina Maxwell do a talk on how we can help solve the problem. A lot of messaging focuses on blaming the victim. Yet, when cities like Vancouver actively ran campaigns to tell guys what constitutes rape, they decreased sexual assault by 10% in one year. Education is key. And Zerlina is here to educate you."


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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Young Jews Protest Israel's Offensive In Gaza, Call For End To 'Gratuitous Killing'

"We reject your organization’s promotion of the “well being of Jews worldwide” as you support a war that leaves our friends and cousins running to bomb shelters and only worsens the horrific status quo of a stateless and oppressed people, the Palestinians. Occupation and expulsion has left the Jewish community numb to the suffering of others and callous in the face of bloodshed." A portion of a letter delivered Tuesday to William Daroff, the Jewish Federations' senior vice president for public policy.

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Blood War-Fighting The FDA Oppression Of LGBTQ Donors By Kyle Leach

Blood War-Fighting The FDA Oppression Of Gay Donors By Kyle Leach

June is always a endless sea of happiness as I watch LGBTQ express themselves and throw off the burdens and chains that still bind way too many of us. Watching our community emerge from its' cocoon, spread its' wings, and take flight is an empowering affirmation every year. Seeing us grow and publicly share our love and affections never gets old. By the time LGBTQ have finished our month long celebration of who we were, who we are, who we want to be and refocus on the continuing fight against bigots and ultras conservatives, the middle of July has rolled around and I'm pricked by a little sadness. The National Gay Blood Drive starts, an expanding effort I vastly approve of and loathe that it has to exist at all. 

In 2014 gay men still can't donate blood in the United States. Bisexual men can't donate. Some transgendered blood donations are denied. Even though all blood is tested now, even though other high risk populations are not banned, we, as a nation,  continue to let the FDA hold fast to a scientifically flawed, unequally applied, oppressive, Reagan era shame tactic against LGBTQ. To counteract this repressive hold over from the jellybean obsessed, jelly brained, C-movie actor and former President of the "free world" the The National Gay Blood Drive was formed. Visibility and team effort are the goals of this very special project, getting people to donate more blood is icing on the cake. Essentially, gay donors and allies try to find as many people to donor blood for those who are prohibited from donating blood. LGBTQ donors can tell their stories, show their commitment, and send them off with the paperwork. The drive is nationwide, but tends to be concentrated in major cities. The two closet to NH are in Boston, MA and Portland, ME.

I'm not really sure when this started to bother me so much. I noticed when I tried to donate blood in college. The nagging in my gut intensified when blood donation and supplies started to dwindle here in the US. When a crisis hits the nation or another region and everyone rushes to donate blood I feel the keen icy isolation too. Considering how far we have come on so many levels in the past decade this gross exclusion makes me feel worse and worse each time a two month cycle ends. Every two months I could be giving blood to help someone recover lost blood from surgery, help a hemophiliac restore life in their veins, or assist people which need routine transfusions. All of that potential lost each year because a very small group of homophobic bigots managed to get control of the nation three decades ago and few have been brave enough to champion our cause since. All because I love men and choose to express that love, without apology or reservation, instead of choosing to lie or suffer silently while being mistreated.

As a progressive I believe all life is sacred, all suffering unneeded. Our job is sustain life, to make lives better, to make life stronger. The people that fear me because I am a gay man would love for my community to be erased, they would love for us to be silent, but we will not. We will not let them demean us with this discriminatory policy. We will not let them win. You may try to bludgeon us with your hatred, but we will transform it into something beautiful like the National Gay Blood Drive. I hope we can expand this event while we have to. Maybe next year we can get one donation site in NH? Maybe two? My greatest  hope is to not need the event at all. Until then, if you are an eligible donor please give blood as often as you can. Donate because some of us want to help others, but have been told we cannot do so because we are different. Donate blood so bigots and hatred don't get the final word in this arena. Donate blood because it saves lives each and every day.

National Blood Drive Is Fighting the FDA Ban on Gay Donors

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why Everybody Is Mad At Rich People

A typical family's wealth has been gutted by 43% since 2007, the year the great recession began. Their wealth fell from $98,872 to $56,335, according to the study in the article. Ouch!

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