Saturday, May 9, 2009

Alcohol Consumption By Country

Support the EPA's Stand Against Big Oil and Coal

Subject: Support the EPA's Stand Against Big Oil and Coal

Dear Friends,

Last month, CREDO had a big victory on carbon regulation: On April 17, EPA formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that endanger public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that will lead to the regulation of the gases for the first time in the United States. This is a huge step forward in the fight to curb global warming - especially in light of the Senate's refusal to act on this particular issue.

However, the EPA cannot start regulating carbon until they've accepted public comments and can show there's broad support for this policy. Should be a no-brainer, right?

Not for Big Oil and Big Coal. The oil and coal industries are paying lobbyists to wait in line at hearings, and are waging a massive campaign to weaken any new laws from the EPA on this issue. They've spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying in Washington, and they'll stop at nothing to keep the EPA from implementing the strong regulations we need to regulate carbon and other noxious gases.

I just sent an email to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to take swift action to regulate carbon and other heat-trapping gases. I hope you will too.

Please have a look and take action.



From JMG...

Just the other day...

Just the other day, I was driving to the campus from a school in the ´burbs. You can take the freeway,m or you can meander a bit. I decided to take the road the winds around, boulevards with trees, shaded trees, flowers.

With my Ford Escape Hybrid I have learned to slow down a bit. There is a range 40-60mph that gives me the maximum mileage, sty in that range and you get 37-38mpg.

I am going to 54 in June - almost 1/2 way between - that means I ma getting maximum mileage.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Requests for National Organization Marriage Financial Reports Go Unanswered

Requests for National Organization Marriage Financial Reports Go Unanswered

LOS ANGELES, CA – Californians Against Hate had representatives go by the Princeton, New Jersey offices of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) twice to get copies of their IRS 990 reports, to no avail. NOM is required by federal law to have these available for public view. Then our representative, Ben Katzenberg, sent two certified letters to the NOM office on March 18, 2009 requesting its two 990 forms. Federal law requires NOM to furnish copies of these IRS filings within 30 days after the requested has been received. And 40 days later, still no 990s.
We believe that NOM has two committees; the National Organization for Marriage 501(c)4 and National Organization for Marriage Educational Fund 501(c)3. Both certified letters were signed for (see US Postal receipt below) at their Princeton, New Jersey office on March 25, 2009.

We have filed a formal complaint with the IRS for their failure to comply with the federal public disclosure laws. The IRS imposes fines of $20 per day up to $10,000 per committee until the financial disclosures are made public.

Six weeks ago Californians Against Hate filed a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) charging that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) established NOM as a front group to qualify California ’s Prop 8 for the ballot, and to fight marriage equality around the country. The FPPC has an ongoing investigation
(Case # 080735) against the Mormon Church. They are looking into this charge and the Mormon Church’s lack of reporting its massive non-monetary contributions on behalf of Yes on Prop 8.

The Mormon Church has a long history of using front groups to carry on its fights opposing same-sex marriage beginning in Hawaii in 1998. The Mormon Church established “ Hawaii ’s Future Today” to support that state’s constitutional amendment opposing same-sex marriage. Documents obtained by Californians Against Hate are posted on our new web site: which detail exactly how the Mormon Church has set up these front groups in the past. The 18 month old NOM shares a strikingly similar heritage.

Maggie Gallagher is president of NOM. She was the subject of a George W. Bush administration scandal. Maggie was paid over $40,000 by the federal government to promote Bush’s educational agenda and never disclosed the fee for several years. She was a nationally syndicated columnist at the time, and used her columns as the vehicle to promote the Bush Administration policy. She continually denied that she was under contact to the Department of Health and Human Services for many years.
“We want transparency here,” stated Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate. “We hope that the National Organization for Marriage will obey the law and release both of its Federal 990 reports immediately. What are they hiding?"

"They now claim to be spending $1.5 million on their outrageous TV commercials. Where is that money coming from? How much are they personally paying themselves? How much 501(c)4 money did they raise to qualify and pass Prop 8? These and many more questions need to be answered, NOW."

"The Mormon Church has led the fight against same-sex marriage in the United States for the past 20 years, and it has always done so very secretly. They have the right to participate in the political process, but they must abide by all federal and state laws. The public is entitled to see the IRS filings, and we hope that Maggie Gallagher and the other NOM board members will comply with our request," concluded Karger.

Matthew R. Holland, NOM Board Member Resigns (?)
Replaced by Scary Mormon Science Fiction Writer

Soon after Californians Against Hate charged the Mormon Church with creating NOM, founding NOM Board Member, Matthew R. Holland, son of Mormon Apostle Jeffrey S. Holland suddenly resigned from the Board of Directors Then soon after that, NOM Chairman, Robby George announced that, “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be ‘represented’ on the NOM board by Orson Scott Card, a columnist for the Mormon Times.” Note to NOM: if Matt Holland is really gone, you might want to remove his name from your NOM California web site…..

Take a look at what People for the American Way came up with on the new Mormon on the NOM Board, Orson Scott Card:

“The NOM has argued that it is not a homophobic organization, but Card’s remarks suggest otherwise. Card, who represents the Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the board and received an effusive welcome last week from NOM president Maggie Gallagher, supports criminalizing sex between same-sex adults:

Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books…to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens.

“Card has also advocated overthrowing the government if same-sex marriage is permitted:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

Biological imperatives trump laws. American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.

Column Links NOM and Opus Dei

A must read; Danielle Truszkovsky a respected columnist with the South Florida Blade released new and startling information last Thursday. Her well read, well researched column paints quite a picture of the closeness between the Mormons and Opus Dei. They appear to have worked together to create NOM!
Colbert Report Has Mormon Church in its Parody
This is our favorite of all the very clever parodies of the NOM “A Gathering Storm” commercial: Colbert Report Check out the disclaimer at the end – very funny, and the Mormon Church on the closing credit looks to be fact!

NOM has Right-Wing PR Firm

We heard they’ve been around for a while, but now they are the contact for Maggie and Brian Brown, NOM’s Executive Director. The firm CRC link is headed by none other than Greg Mueller and Mike Russell. Mueller was far far right, former Presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan’s Communications Director. And guess who Mike Russell worked for? If you guessed Pat Robertson, you were right!

Seems like NOM has picked up steam in the last couple of months, and we’re pretty sure this duo has a lot to do with it. Both Buchanan and Robertson are notoriously homophobic, so it is no surprise that their staff follows suit.

American Association of Justice to Honor Manchester Grand Hyatt Boycott -- Moving Annual Convention to San Francisco!

According to the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, the 2,000 + attorney members of the American Association of Justice are leaving the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego and instead taking its annual summer convention to San Francisco. Hotel owner, Doug Manchester gave $125,000 to Yes on Prop 8 to qualify the constitutional amendment for the November 2008 ballot.

“The American Association for Justice, formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, has relocated its annual convention to avoid meeting at the San Diego hotel that has become the target of a boycott because of its owner’s support of Proposition 8. In an undated letter addressed to members, President Les Weisbrod of Miller, Curtis & Weisbrod in Dallas announced that the organization’s convention has been rescheduled to take place from July 25 to 29 in San Francisco.”

Californians Against Hate launched a boycott of both Manchester hotels, the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Grand del Mar Resort. We partnered with Unite Here Local 30, the hotel worker's union, and several LGBT leaders nearly one year ago. The two San Diego hotels have lost countless meetings and conventions since the boycott began on July 18, 2008.

Jonas Salk High-Tech Academy visit to Sac State

Had a blast with 45 great kids from Salk... we did soem work on my math trail, I'll go meet with them in a few days to see what they found.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today's Humor Post

Bird Dropping

Went out to take the trash and noticed this little drop of water on the Bird of Paradise bud...

A novel approach to school transportation...

I did a much tammer (and safer) version of this a couple of times. Once with Spencer and another with Clo... you can see me do this if you got to:

then click on:

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Canopy 1

Costa Rica Canopy 2

Costa Rica Canopy 3 (what I saw)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Politics of Big Money

Bill Moyers Journal | The Politics of Big Money

Bill Moyers Journal: "As the banking stress-test results come in, the Journal takes a closer look at money's stranglehold on politics. Bill Moyers speaks with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) - who declared last week that banks "are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill."

This spring, Apple will recycle your school’s old, unwanted Mac computers, PCs, and qualifying peripherals from any manufacturer—for free.

Miss California shows everyone what God, er, the pageant gave her...

the magic of ipod shuffle, better than the daily horoscope

The first ipod shuffle song of the day was Try by Billy Pilgrim. Here are the lyrics:

Another sleepless night, turn off my light turn it off Open my books, take in silence, and wait for the dawn Lock myself into place Keep the sun off my face When the morning comes TRY to keep it all in sight

Form one thought, break it off, take a breath, carry on You think you matter so much that you're the only one In your mind you're a star that I can see from afar Before you've even begun to TRY to keep it all in sight If you feel it then open your heart No need to ask it what for Blood runs cold when it's shut from the sun So open your door and what's more, TRY

Worked for years on their temples to burn them all down An angry horde disbelievin' set fire sacred ground In its place they built tanks Think, fish, and drunk tanks And just to tear the sky down They tried to conquer all in sight Walled their cities as high as they could Kept them apart from themselves Fought for ages and raged on the plains with reasons misunderstood but to the common good Raised up their idols protected their own walked on dinosaur bones Spread a pestilent nature from mountain to sky Until the rivers ran dry and the rivers ran dry that they owned

Watch the lights flash by my window Throw ghosts on the wall And every room in my house answers back when I call Trace the outline within Trust in dreams to begin TRY to keep it all in sight And TRY to work it all out TRY if you will, TRY if they won't You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't TRY.

I needed this as, with this damn foot of mine, I ma really blue, I can’t walk much, forget about my bike or puttering too much in the yard… I have already gained 10 lbs in 2 weeks… so I will TRY to not be too bitchy… thank gawd for my son, my husband and a great band of students this semester… they are my drug of choice.

Stand with Obama and Biden over Gingrich

Hey there -

On Sunday night, Newt Gingrich delivered an ugly attack on President Obama's Middle East agenda at the annual AIPAC conference, recycling failed Bush-Cheney “Axis of Evil” ideas.

Then on Tuesday, Biden pressed for tough, principled diplomacy with Iran and argued that a two-state solution is in the essential interests of Israel and the United States.

I was one of nearly 15,000 people who stood up to side with Biden and Obama over Newt's recycled Bush / Cheney views by signing a petition with J Street, the new progressive, pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby. I hope you'll join me: JStreet.Org/Newt

We've got to make it absolutely clear to Congress and the media that the majority of our community stands with Obama and Biden's vision for America's role in the Middle East.



Getting hard to decide who to buy gas from these days...

Lets see Chevron-Texaco... nope, Exxon-Mobil, definitely not, Shell nope... gotta get my foot healed so I can get back on my bike.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Misc Kids Art from Today

Super scientist from a 4th grader... a student teacher shared this with me.

T one was drawn on the back of a sticker, if the kids in the 1st grade save up enough, they get a trip to the school store... but this little guy worked with me 3 weeks ago, and when I returned to watch his student teacher yesterday, he asked me,

A we best friends for ever?" I replied,

Yes, of course we are!"

He beamed and a few minutes later he walked across the classroom and gave me this, and repeated "you are my best friend for life!".

I kind think the best thing you can do if you are bit down (my foot is in a boot and I can't do my walking or bike riding) is to find a first grade classroom to volunteer in... kids make anything right. Suddenly grabby Mother emails, university politics, a house that has continual needs, a boot all seem inconsequential...

Next time my mother reads me out about how to send a proper email or any other petty old lady crab apple shit- and ignoring the actual message and the well meaning intent - I'll just tell her this story.

Better yet, she won't listen... I'll just smile and call a teacher and ask if i can hang out for an hour...



BAGHDAD – Widespread violence is down across Baghdad, but not for one minority group.

Iraq’s gay population is being targeted by militia groups in a wave of killings that has claimed the lives of up to 25 young men and boys in the past month.

"They know I am gay. I don’t know if I am going to be killed, this is up to God," said Moyad, a 38-year-old Baghdad resident who would not give his last name out of fear for his safety.

Visibly frightened, he said that he has many friends who have been sadistically tortured, some even murdered. "They are sticking glue up their anuses; some hospitals refuse to treat them. Is it a war waged against homosexuals?" he asked.

International outrage
Most of the attacks have happened in Baghdad’s Shia neighborhoods, and many believe that religious leaders have used Friday sermons in Sadr City as a platform to incite hatred and violence toward homosexuals. The bodies of three gay men were reported to have been found in Sadr City in April with pieces of paper bearing the word for "pervert" attached to them.

Posters and leaflets have been distributed in the Baghdad neighborhoods of al-Shola, al-Hurya and Sadr City with orders to, "Cleanse Iraq from the crime of homosexuality."

Baghdad police didn’t respond to inquiries from NBC News about the attacks, but the surge in violence has gained attention by the international media.

In a letter to Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki in April, Amnesty International called for "urgent and concerted action" to stop the killings of men because of their sexual orientation.

Amnesty International expressed concern at the government’s failure to "publicly condemn the killings." It urged the government to make sure that the killings are "promptly and effectively investigated, and to see that the perpetrators are brought to justice." The letter also condemned statements from one senior police officer that,"appear to condone or even encourage the targeting of members of the gay community in Baghdad." An Amnesty spokeswoman said there had not yet been a reply from Iraqi authorities.

Campaign of fear
Moyad described a recent crusade by vigilantes in which young men were tortured with hoses and shot."For some time I never went out of my house," he said. "I also had the feeling that they would break in and get me."

Noor, a 24-year-old lesbian who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it is easier for her to conceal her sexuality, but she is still frightened about the possibility of being exposed – especially knowing that some of her friends were killed by the militias. "They were burned in Kadhimiya, Hurriya Al-Olaa, Hurriya Al-Thaniya, Dolaai and Dabaash."

Moyad believes that many have been killed by their own families in an effort to preserve their honor. "My friend Ahmed, from the neighborhood of Zafaraniya, was killed by his family for looking like a female. Those commandos tell the families to kill them or else they will kill them. I expect that my own brother might lead those guys to kill me."

‘Sense of panic’
Ali Hili is a gay Iraqi who fled to London and founded the fledgling U.K.-based organization,"Iraqi LGBT," a human rights organization that supports Iraqi lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

"There is a sense of panic among the youth for fear of retaliation against anyone who is suspected of having a history of being effeminate, anyone with a homosexual past, if you act or dress like one or even have a western hairstyle," said Hili. He said that attacks by the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia, and its supporters have increased and that death warrants have been sent to individuals.

Hili’s organization tries to help gays in Iraq who have come under attack by providing food, electricity, protection, medication and clothing at a safe house in Baghdad. The group also provides phone cards for people to report incidents of harassment, in order to document the situation, often at great risk to their safety in Iraq.

"Many people have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and sometimes not even that, no exaggeration at all here," Hili said of people seeking refuge at the safe house. His organization also tries to help people seeking asylum in other countries.

Moyad said that unfortunately things have actually gotten worse than it was during Saddam’s reign things. "I was imprisoned because I was gay, but there was a court, a trial, and the judge let me loose at the time; now they kill people like us.";

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Two More from Truthout

William Rivers Pitt | The Other 100 Days
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "For the Republican Party, however, the last 100 days have been something out of a Roger Corman flick: blood on the walls, body parts everywhere, lots of screaming and no plot to speak of. The last 30 months have brought a litany of disasters for the GOP - electoral wipeouts in '06 and '08, a poisoned party "brand," mass voter defections to the Democrats, the total repudiation of their whole ideological slate, and an ex-president about as popular as the mumps - culminating with a run of incidents since the inauguration so unutterably bad as to beggar likeness."

The New Homeless
Elizabeth Leland, The Charlotte Observer: "Kenneth and Stacy Dowdy can't afford a place to live in Charlotte. Neither can Charles DuPree. But if you passed them on the street, you might not recognize them for what they are: Homeless. They are among a growing number of newly homeless who don't fit old stereotypes. Many of them work regular jobs, or did until recently, nursing the sick, caring for other people's children, vacuuming offices, driving cabs."

Open Veins of Latin America

a must read.

Anti-Gay Former Rep. Jack Kemp Dies

From JMG:

"Kemp was a vigorous gay rights opponent in Congress. He supported the firing of homosexual teachers, saying, "I think a school board should have the right to choose what type of example we have for our children in public schools." Kemp fought legislation protecting the civil rights of people with HIV and supported a bill that would have required the mandatory reporting of those with the disease. He frequently characterized gay rights as "special rights" and was a co-founder of the right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation."

Building a Culture of Trust in Politics

FOCUS | Joe Brewer: Building a Culture of Trust in Politics

Joe Brewer, Cognitive Policy Works: "I believe that a culture of trust is desperately needed if we are to address the looming challenges of the modern world. People need to be able to identify deceptive practices and stop them in their tracks, while also having the skills necessary to communicate their real concerns authentically so that others can trust in them."
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