December 19, 2014

KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD!

SCARY!

The San Diego Police Department is being sued by a civil rights organization over the possible use of dragnet-capable ‘Stingray’ cellphone surveillance technology that has given national police observers pause for its widespread tracking capabilities.
San Diego police have long chosen to withhold details about whether it uses an International Mobile Subscriber Identity catcher (IMSI), which emulates the functionality of a cell phone tower in order to interact with a nearby mobile phone. Commonly known as Stingrays, a popular brand name, they can be used to capture and intercept the contents of communications, including calls, text messages, or internet activity. Many IMSI catchers are used in dragnet fashion, scooping up information about every phone in range.
The First Amendment Coalition presented in the lawsuit a heavily-redacted invoice provided by the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) that confirmed $33,000 was spent to acquire or use IMSI-catching technology, yet SDPD will not provide further information to the group or news organizations, according to the Union-Tribune of San Diego.

MORE:   RT.COM

PLEASE SIGN

We wonder how we get cancer. We apply toxins to our skin, nails and hair everyday. Loreal uses carcinogens in it's projects and has the nerve to then pretend to fight cancer.



"It’s hypocrisy in action: L’Oréal, the multinational cosmetic conglomerate, is promoting its contributions to the fight against ovarian cancer at the same time that it sells products containing toxic chemicals linked to cancer.

Across L’Oréal’s many brands, products like eye makeup, nail polish, and hair products (including kids’ shampoo) contain cancer-causing chemicals.1

Reducing our daily exposure to carcinogens is a major way to protect our health and fight cancer. L’Oréal needs to get the message that it’s time to remove carcinogens from its products. Click here to sign the petition.

Our friends at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reviewed the scientific literature and found a host of carcinogens, formaldehyde releasers and contaminants in products sold under the L’Oréal, Maybelline, and Garnier brands - all owned by L’Oréal. They’ve cross-referenced this research with authoritative bodies including the California Proposition 65 list of chemicals linked to cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the National Toxicology Program.2,3

Safer alternatives exist for the carcinogens in L’Oréal’s products, and some companies, including Johnson & Johnson, have agreed to remove some chemicals of concern. If an industry leader like L’Oréal makes the decision to go carcinogen-free, it will help move the rest of the industry, removing a huge source of daily exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

It's time for L’Oréal to stop putting our health at risk by selling products with cancer-causing chemicals. Click the link below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/loreal_cancer?t=5&akid=12484.8155503.EE7dqu

Thanks for helping hold L’Oréal accountable for its customers’ health."

Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

SIGN:   CREDO

ELIZABETH WARREN SLAMS THE TPP

I'm glad some Democrat is speaking out against the TPP, a massive trade deal that Obama is trying to secretly fast-track through Congress. What makes him think that he could finally work together with Republicans on this deal as they've sworn to defeat everything he does and are about to take charge of both houses of Congress? Simple--Republicans will work with Obama on this deal because it will hurt American workers and benefit huge corporations. So it's an agreement which Republicans would want. Obama, the Democrat, will finally get something big done when he joins with Republicans to screw US workers. At least some Democrats ae challenging him on his Republican policies.

“We cannot afford a trade deal that undermines the government’s ability to protect the American economy,” Warren said in the letter, also signed by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).

WHY IS OBAMA SEEKING TO JOIN REPUBLICANS TO UNDERMINE THE AMERICAN ECONOMY?

"In her letter, Warren raises concerns that the deal could include provisions that would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. policies before a judicial panel outside the domestic legal system, increasing exposure of American taxpayers to potential damages."

SO THE TPP COULD FORCE TAX PAYERS TO BAIL OUT THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE IT ENABLES MULTI-NATIONAL COMPANIES TO SUE A GOVERNMENT.

Hillary supports killing the few remaining manufacturing jobs left in the US with the TPP, proving that like Obama, she's a Republican lite.

MORE:   WASHPO

AN ALL-TIME FAVE!

YEP!


AWWW, JUST SIGN BOTH!

We, the undersigned, urge the Senate to repeal the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling with a constitutional amendment that allows local, state, and federal governments to place commonsense limits on campaign contributions. We support political reform that places everyday Americans, not billionaire and corporate donors, at the center of our democracy.

SIGN:   DALSALABS



Overturn Citizens United

In 2014, we saw the influence of big money and corporate dollars on our democracy – sadly big money and corporations won.
The Koch Brothers reportedly spent $290 million dollars in 2014 and, unfortunately, their money was well spent. They protected the House and took over the Senate by buying their way into power.
We can’t have more disastrous results in 2016. Adding a Republican President to the GOP controlled House and Senate would be catastrophic for everyday Americans. 
We must overturn Citizens United before 2016. We can’t let billionaires like the Koch Brothers buy another election. Sign our petition to end Citizen United’s harmful influence.
The Supreme Court destroyed our democracy by giving corporations and the super-rich an avenue to buy elections. We need to overturn the Citizens United and McCutcheon and ensure every American has an equal share in our democracy.
MORE:   USACTION

December 18, 2014

DEMOCRATS SHOWING THEIR TRUE COLORS...AGAIN

This clip explains why I diss the Democratic party. I'd never vote Republican, but that doesn't mean that our only other choice of party makes any sense. Here's a perfect example. Democrats lost both houses of Congress in the recent mid-term election. They have only days to remain in power with a majority in the Senate. But instead of using those last few days of their time in power to confirm some of the 30 nominees Obama has put forward, they decide to break early for Christmas. These nominees may not be able to get confirmed after Christmas, because Republicans will have a majority in both houses. So they fritter away a golden opportunity to get work done and advance their and their party's and their president's agenda. As The Rachel Maddow Show so eloquently points out--IT MAKES NO SENSE! And as she suggests, Democrats should "cancel Christmas" and work every last second that they have a majority in one house.

While Rachel struggles to make sense out of something nonsensical, you're forced to realize: even though I'm pretty sure that most of the people on my page lean democratic, this proves that they're inept. The GOP agenda benefits so few, yet they are rabid in their party unity and ramming through their agenda. One thing on that agenda? Blocking everything Obama wants, including these 30 nominees. So when the Democrats have power, they fritter it away in a way that baffles a newscaster like Maddow who is on their side.

If you'd care to defend the Democrats, can you offer some sort of explanation? Are they lazy and just eager to enjoy time off for the holidays? Are they too stupid to seize this moment? Do they want Obama to fail because he's unpopular, and they can therefore distance themselves from him in their next election? Like Rachel, I'm mystified by this. If this is your party, can you please explain their actions? How can you get behind a party which has an opportunity, in the session of a hated, do-nothing Congress known for shutting down the government rather than passing legislation, and they go on vacation early knowing that confirming these nominees or passing anything else they were working on will be 10 times harder when they resume session. Or maybe they know what a few of us know: there is very little difference between the two parties. Obama is currently trying to appoint a financier who Republicans would love to head the Treasury Dpt., right after both parties have recently passed for the $1 trillion Cromnibus spending bill, which sets the stage for you and I bailing out giant banks with our hard-earned tax dollars as banks' CEOs make record profits. So we have a choice between blatant crooks like the Republicans, and slightly less open crooks like the Democrats.

For those of you who feel that Hillary Clinton was a better choice than Obama because she knows the inner workings of DC, this broken system government is what she knows how to work. And it's working very well for big banks, oil companies, war profiteers and Israel's defense budget. Too bad for average working Americans. We need a real choice and it won't come from the Democrats. I beg you to watch this clip to see what your party is actually up to. They can't even pretend to care when there's turkey with all the trimmings waiting for them at home. I beg you to watch this clip and offer me a defense of the Democrats' early vacation which throws away a golden opportunity for them to actually work for the American people. Until I hear such a defense, I'm as mystified as Rachel on this. I'm a life-long Democrat, but Independent Bernie Sanders is looking really good compared to where Democrats have gone to.

MSNBC:

Clock ticks for Senate Democrats to confirm Obama nominees
Rachel Maddow points out that there are more Obama nominees awaiting confirmation than those scheduled to be addressed before the Senate leaves for the year, and wonders why Senate Democrats wouldn’t stay to get as much done as possible before 2015.

WATCH:   MSNBC

GIFT IDEA?


SPENT 150K TO LOOK LIKE KIM K AND DOESN'T




MORE:   STARCASM

December 17, 2014

SORRY, PETA!




MADNESS IN THE SENATE

Lawmakers on both sides agreed on a bill which allots funds to help prevent veterans from committing suicide. It passed the house and had almost unanimous support in the Senate, yet Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn attempted to block the bill. Tom belongs to the Republican party, which is the more likely of the two parties to declare war, jump into war, lie about evidence which they claim must launch us into wars. Yet for some reason, Tom Coburn, who is leaving the Senate at the end of this year, wanted to block a popular bill helping veterans as his last "good deed" in office. Rachel Maddow is a great storyteller, and she sets up the clip of Coburn spouting complete gibberish beautifully. She plays it to the hilt when mocking him. And he is a mess, getting choked up and discussing his failure as a doctor who has lost military patients to suicide. While trying to stop a bill that would fund counseling for the veterans who commit suicide roughly 22 times a day. I don't think they commit it before they serve.

Storytellers are great, but what Rachel fails to do is offer any analysis of WHY Coburn made this nonsensical personal stand against veterans before leaving the Senate in shame with even his own party members slam him. He wants to make a statement about big government and not wanting to fund even help for veterans. The Republicans are very rah-rah-rah about military when they're sent off to wars that they've helped authorize. But after they return, not so much. Konda like their protectiveness of unborn children and "screw the kids" attitude if they might need assistance after they're born.

Or maybe Tom's getting a pay-off to pull such a disgraceful stunt. Maybe he has a lucrative new post-senate gig with a conservative think tank which wants no government at all, much less big government which funds soldiers' post-combat suicide counseling.

 Don't think it's only Republicans who disgrace themselves on their way out. Independent/Democrat Joe Lieberman tried to block Obamacare's passage before he left the senate to spend more time with his wife Hadassah, a senior lobbyist for the health care and pharmaceutical industries. Democratic Senator Ben Nelson was the 60th vote needed to pass Obamacare right before he left office. He was offered a sweet $100 million in Medicaid funds for his yes vote, but the offer attracted too much criticism. And they needed $300 million in relief funds for Louisiana for to secure Democrat Mary Landrieu's vote. Republicans called it the "Louisiana Purchase." Ben Nelson's proposed $100 million was named the "Cornhusker Kickback." These legal bribes are so openly known that they have nicknames! Mary's a catholic, so she held out her vote because Obamacare would help fund abortions. She's just left the Senate in disgrace after one of her last acts there  was to champion a bill for big oil which was proposed by the Republican opponent she just lost her seat to after 18 years in office.

This is why we hate Congress. They're often corrupt, unprincipled, have hidden agendas and can really sock it to the American people on the way out if they're paid well enough. This Maddow clips is one particularly crazy example of a GOP Senator in action melting down, but there are many others on both sides of the aisle. It's pretty astounding to watch Coburn in a sympathy rant for veterans while actively trying to screw them out of mental health funds.

WATCH:   MSNBC


OBAMA IS GEORGE W. BUSH

Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama is building up troops near Russia. The Pentagon claims the troops are for "peace and stability." Because you always send fighters and weapons anywhere that you want peace.

RT: "The Pentagon has confirmed the military buildup along Russia’s borders to ensure long-term “peace and stability” in the region. Earlier Moscow accused NATO of a sharp increase in air activity and intelligence flights in the border zone."

 MORE:   RT.COM

RELATED:

At least Switzerland cares about arresting Bush. Obama and Eric Holder declared impeachment for their war crimes was "off the table" as soon as they took office. Probably because they wanted to commit some of their own.

George W. Bush cancels visit to Swiss charity gala over fears he could be arrested on torture charges


MORE:   DAILYMAIL.COM

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

REVIEW: CHRISTMAS WITH THE CRAWFORDS

THE GAYEST XMAS SHOW ON EARTH!

Last night, I caught Christmas With The Crawfords, starring Joey Arias Nyc, Sherry Vine, Connie Champagne, Flotilla Debarge and Chris Mirto as Christina since Chris March is out sick. It's a dizzying (and dizzy) spectacle when Joan (Joey Arias) throws a holiday bash. This serves not only as an excuse to have many celebrities from Hollywood's Golden Age to pop by for cameos, but also to recreate the insane Christmas party scene from Mommie Dearest. Joan is drunk and at a low point at her career, which sets the stage for a barrage of ego-bruising zingers. None of the guests really like Joan, but they've stopped by on the way to Gary Cooper's party. Sherry Vine is the maid (Bette Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane) and plays it to the hilt by serving Joan a dead rat, singing I've Written A Letter To Santa (as opposed to Daddy). Sherry nails Baby Jane for some huge laughs and later returns as Hedda Hopper. Now if you don't know who Hedda Hopper, the hat-wearing gossip columnist of the 1940s, is--you may also be too young to recognize other celebs like Gloria Swanson (as a completely demented Norma Desmond), Judy Garland (in a red wig which threw me off), Carmen Miranda, The Andrews Sisters and Ethel Merman. Flotilla Debarge makes a scene-stealing turn as Hattie McDaniel, taunting Joan with her Oscar and belting out a few tunes in mammy drag. This is old school Gay Camp 101--so sorry, but there's no Lady Gaga or Katy Perry references for the twinks.



But the audience at the beautiful (if too warm) Abrons Arts Center screamed at every mention of wire coat hangers or any time Joan whacks her kids. Because what say holiday spirit like child abuse? An interesting twist makes Christina a bitch rather than simply a victim, and the little sourpuss is constantly taking notes in her diary, which would of course go on to expose Joan as the opposite from the happy homemaker she pretends to be for her public. Joey doesn't resemble or sound like Joan Crawford, but he makes it work by melding Joan with his own nutty persona and by the time Joan starts really melting down with rage, the audience is feeling it right along with him. His demonic, threatening version of Silent Night is delirious fun and he also pays homage to that foul rehearsal leotard and wraparound skirt from Joan's film Torch Song. Joey's not only singing, dancing and whipping that wraparound skirt, he's also spryly up and down a steep staircase in a variety gowns. At her age and in 6 inch fetish heels! When the party goes awry, his control freak character flips out and at one point, imagines pre-recorded voices in his head which made me howl! I think that may refer to the Joan's mental breakdown in Straight Jacket. Another funny scene turns Christina into Vida in Mildred Fierce's slap scene. So it's basically a greatest hits of Joan's campest screen moments with plenty of Mommie Dearest thrown in.

Each guest performs a song or two--often a comically worked Christmas song. While zany as hell, you're also treated to some fine performances and San Francisco treasure Connie Cnampagne can really melt a crowd with her rendition Judy's Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. The Gloria Swanson, decked out in one of Chris March's many genius costumes, is not only ready for her close-up but also a lobotomy. It was tough to take my eyes off that actor, who I'd love to credit but I  misplaced my program. This nutty, all-singing, all-dancing holiday romp runs through 12/27 and tickets are $45. It's been 12 years since this San Francisco classic has had an NYC revival so catch it while you can!

MORE INFO/TIX:   CHRISTMASWITHTHECRAWFORDS

December 16, 2014

MUST SEE TV

I defy you to listen to the words of these young protesters and not be moved to tears. Blacks came to this country in shackled in ships in their own excrement and if they were lucky enough to reach their destination alive, they were enslaved for life. Over centuries, things have improved in many ways. And kids the age of many of these protesters weren't weren't forced to endure the humiliation of entering through the back doors of restaurants or drinking from separate water fountains from whites. Although these humiliating, soul-destroying experiences must be passed down in the collective psyche of the race which experienced them.

Yet in 2014, blacks are still being gunned down by those who we pay to protect us. It is deeply disturbing to have people take to the streets with a slogan of "I can't breathe" because they've seen the footage of cops in our city attacking and suffocating a man for selling loose cigarettes. Then the cop who administered the fatal, illegal chokehold gets off scot-free. Despite the progress that you'd hope having our first mixed race president now would suggest we've made as a country, the latest string of nationwide killer cops are now forcing black and latino youth to wake up that they are still not safe, and still second class citizens whose lives don't matter. We've all got a lot of waking up to do. I like to think of myself as someone who is aware of my white privilege, but physically, I can never be aware of what people of another skin color face on a daily basis. This clip contains some moving words which help to explain their perspective. I've put a few quotes below but my real hope is that you'll watch this clip and share the outrage over a situation that anyone interested in equality must pitch in to stop now. The majority of this country considers itself to be christian. Surely no true christian could teach Thou Shalt Not Kill and feel right about how our law enforcers have too often become murderous lawbreakers.

I've seen some clips in the mainstream media which cast aspersions on this movement--Police Commissioner Bill Bratton whining yesterday about what the protests are costing the city due to increased staffing and one guy selling I Can't Breathe t-shirts being asked where the money from the sales went to. Who cares where it went? If I Can't Breathe is a message that people want to wear emblazoned on their t-shirts, then surely it's nothing but good ole-fashioned American entrepreneurial spirit to create those shirts to meet a demand and earn a living. I prefer to listen to Democracy Now's coverage of what actual protesters have to say.

GARVEY X: I’m eight. I’m here with my mom, because we are trying to fight for our rights. We are trying to fight for our rights, for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and a lot of people who are dead by bad police.

DARRELL GREENE: "Me, my father, my son. Who’s next?" And what that image means is, at this point, I know I’m a productive citizen, and I don’t feel safe in my own community. I’ve never been in trouble with law enforcement. And from what I’m seeing on the news and what’s been going on, I really wonder: Am I next?

NILAN JOHNSON: I’m here because Americans, period, are being preyed on, right now. African Americans are once again fighting for the right to be human, and I think that’s horrible.

KAYESHA: My name is Kayesha, and I’m here because what is happening in this country, what has been happening, from Emmett Till 50 years ago to Eric Garner and Akai Gurley now, has shown us that in 50 years it is still a death sentence to be black in America.

RON DAVIS: My name is Ron Davis. I’m the father of George Davis, the young man that was killed in Jacksonville, Florida, for loud music. We want to let you know that we are the families who are suffering, but y’all are suffering along with us. We have all these families. I have families listed on this placard. And every single day, every single night, there’s another young family member being killed in the streets. Every life matters. No more, no more, no more!

SABAAH JORDAN: We had people taking to the streets and demanding justice. And it was people of all colors. It was people of different ages. It was people of different backgrounds. It was people who are ready to evolve as human beings. And I think that when we can finally evolve past racism and we can finally evolve past, you know, something so petty as skin color, that’s going to mean evolution for everybody. That’s going to mean a better world for everybody to live in. I think people recognize that, and I think that that’s what the numbers reflect.

We’re working together. We’re building a movement. We believe that we can live in a better world. And I think it’s also, you know, a sign of the time. We’re in a world where it’s difficult to find a job, it’s difficult to pay off student loans—everything is very difficult. And so, it forces you to ask questions: Why is it like this? And then, when you see people being killed in the street and police officers not being held accountable, that’s just one more thing that tells you that something is really, really wrong and that if we don’t do anything about it, that this is the world that we’re going to inherit as adults. It’s hard to think about having children as a black woman in this world right now. And so, that’s where I’m coming from.

PLEASE WATCH THE CLIP BELOW. There's a companion clip on DemocracyNow.org from Al Sharpton's DC March which features a passionate speech from Amadou Diallo's mom.(Unarmed, Amadou was shot at 41 times and killed by 4 cops in 1999. All four were acquitted.)

NOT ALL BAD NEWS FROM SYDNEY CAFES

"Koreatown, Sydney has a hipster
nitrous gelato bar which serves a
flavour called 2 Girls 1 Cup. It's
sour cream chocolate & corn pieces."

From the twisted newsletter popbitch, which you can sign up for at popbitch.com.

December 15, 2014

DISGRACEFUL!

ACLU: Do you think homeless shelters should be allowed to refuse shelter to gay people because of their religious beliefs? What about a pharmacist refusing to dispense daily birth control or HIV medication for religious reasons?

This could be the very near future for those who live in Michigan. The State House just passed a new bill that allows people to use their religious beliefs to discriminate and it is being fast-tracked through the Senate.

If this bill passed, Michiganders may be required to follow the religious beliefs of their employers, grocers and pharmacists. There’s not much time, but a national outcry could be just the public pressure needed to stop this harmful bill.

Don’t let this bill advance any further — urge Governor Rick Snyder today calling on him to oppose H.B. 5958.



Religious freedom is one of our country’s fundamental values. That’s why it’s protected in the state and federal constitution. But that freedom does not give any of us the right to harm others.

Many states around the country have already tried to push through these “Religious Freedom and Restoration Act” (RFRA) bills in a misguided attempt to undermine LGBT equality.

Unfortunately, this broadly written bill is a Pandora’s box. It could allow individuals to decide that non-discrimination laws, child abuse laws, and domestic violence laws just don’t apply to them.

If passed, this bill could excuse any person from any state or local law that they claim “burdens” their exercise of religion. And this includes beliefs that do not stem from any established religion!

Act today — send a strong message to the Governor that no one should face discrimination based on someone else’s personal beliefs.

The bill could be used to permit people or businesses to deny employment, housing, or services to LGBT people, military members, or even addicts based on their religious views. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These aren’t fantasy scenarios either. In Michigan, a school guidance counselor has already refused to help gay students because of her religious faith.

In Utah, a federal judge just held that the federal RFRA prevented the Department of Labor from fully investigating possible child labor law violations because the individual being investigated said that his religious beliefs forbade him from discussing such matters with the government.

One thing is abundantly clear: we need to stop this bill before it becomes law. Will you do your part to help?

Thanks for taking action,
Anthony for the ACLU Action Team

ACLU.ORG

CHILL SOUNDS THAT ARE FREE!

Winter Sounds For Real People by Sumsuch: Just got this laid back "Winter" mix from BBE Music and am loving it. Some silky soul with lovely vocals and even a string section! There is a free download link if you sign if with twitter. I don't exactly know how to do that but you can listen online and figure out if you like it enough to download it or not. There's another free download mix as well if like the first. Kinda sad that talented musicians have to give their work away for free but look at it as a gift!

LISTEN/DOWNLOAD:   BBE.COM

HAPPY BELATED HOILDAYS!