No one filed a challenge by Monday’s deadline to the more than 315,000 signatures turned in to the Secretary of State that would prohibit abortion coverage to be included in standard insurance policies.
What this means is that YOUR health insurance, even if it’s private insurance, would require you to buy a separate rider to cover abortion, and you can’t buy it after you’re pregnant, you have to buy it ahead of time. So if you even think that someday you might be faced with that choice and want your insurance to cover it, you have to buy separate coverage for it now.
THIS COULD PASS EASILY. Most of the legislative houses signed this petition, and Gov. Snyder who, for all his faults, has been generally friendly to pro-choice issues, cannot veto it.
The best we can do now is push the legislature to make it a public ballot issue rather than letting it be decided by the 4.2% of Michigan voters who signed the petition, which was sponsored by Right to Life.
If you’re a Michigan resident and would like to contact your representative and tell them what you think of this so-called “rape insurance” plan, you can do so here,
I can’t even wrap my head around how wrongheaded this is.
Recently, the Movement Advancement Project released a comprehensive report laying out the issues lesbian, gay, bisexual, and particularly trans people of color disproportionately face in the workplace. More so than their white counterparts, these include barriers such as equal access to education, hiring bias and discrimination, unequal pay, benefits, and taxation.
According to the report, queer people of color are more likely to have been homeless, to have children, bad credit, or have a criminal record, which often comes up in background checks and disqualifies people from employment. In addition, the report presents queer people of color as a large, diverse, and geographically dispersed population of people that are more likely to have a number of strikes against them when finding employment.
And to add to the barriers trans people of color disproportionately face, only 34 states in the U.S. currently have laws that protect trans people from workplace discrimination. The National Center for Transgender Rights created the image featured in this post demonstrates the (slow) progress of state-based trans rights laws across the country. These resources suggest that if legislation like ENDA fails to pass, queer people of color, especially trans people of color, will be left particularly vulnerable to economic instability based on a hostile or discriminatory work environment.
[TW: Transphobia, Murder]
It takes a great deal of hatred to beat someone to death. To connect fists with flesh repeatedly until your target is no longer capable of living. I’ve been thinking about this level of rage as I consider that the man who allegedly pummeled Islan Nettles as she lay unconscious, Paris Wilson, is free for now.
If he had been indicted by a grand jury and found guilty, 20-year-old Wilson wasn’t going to spend much time in prison for the death of Nettles, a 21-year-old Black trans woman, who loved fashion.
Curiously, Wilson faced misdemeanor assault charges, which prosecutors dropped because another man in the group, that allegedly hurled homophobic slurs at Nettles and her friends on that late August night in Harlem, issued a confession. Police reportedly found the confession to be false, but the admission was enough to cast doubt in Wilson’s case.
DNAinfo.com reports that the prosecutor, New York District Attorney Nicholas Viorst, will now investigate the case as a homicide, a charge that doesn’t require a speedy resolution. Activists are calling for Wilson to be charged with a hate crime.
But as law enforcement sorts this out and as the clock ticks, there’s a message being sent here that Black trans women’s lives have no value. That it’s OK for trans women of color in this country to be in particular danger. That we’ll just have more Lashai McLeans, Tonya Harrells, NaNa Boo Macks, Chloe Alexander Moores, CeCe McDonalds and Islan Nettles. I’m stating the obvious here, but it needs to be said: This shit is wrong. And until we can get underneath the irrational fear that cis men (yeah, I said it: cis men) have of trans women; until cis men quit using battery of trans women as an assertion of their own maleness; until they understand that battering, stabbing, shooting at and killing trans women of color will actually result in actual punishment, this violence isn’t going to stop.
FREE CECE, the new documentary with Laverne Cox, explores the roles race, class and gender played in CeCe McDonald’s case. McDonald’s claim of self defense was rejected by Hennepin County prosecutors. The documentary explores the implications of CeCe’s story as a survivor, housing trans women in male prisons, and the practice of keeping trans women in solitary confinement.
Please take a moment to visit the site and contribute a tax deductible donation so this important work can continue.
Fire Dog Lake’s Kevin Gosztola notes:
Today US military operations are involved in scores of countries across all the five continents. The US military is the world’s largest landlord, with significant military facilities in nations around the world, and with a significant presence in Bahrain, Djibouti,Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to long-established bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and the UK. Some of these are vast, such as the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, the forward headquarters of the United States Central Command, which has recently been expanded to accommodate up to 10,000 troops and 120 aircraft.
Citing a page at US Central Command’s (CENTCOM) website, they highlight the “areas of responsibility” publicly listed:
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) is active in 20 countries across the Middle Eastern region, and is actively ramping-up military training, counterterrorism programs, logistical support, and funding to the military in various nations. At this point, the US has some kind of military presence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., Uzbekistan, and Yemen.
US Africa Command (AFRICOM), according to the paper, “supports military-to-military relationships with 54 African nations.”
[Gosztola points out that the U.S. military is also conducting operations of one kind or another in Syrian, Jordan, South Sudan, Kosovo, Libya, Yemen, the Congo, Uganda, Mali, Niger and other countries.]
Altogether, that makes 74 nations where the US is fighting or “helping”some force in some proxy struggle that has been deemed beneficial by the nation’s masters of war.
A Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides an accounting of all the publicly acknowledged deployments of US military forces
But those are just the public operations.
Gosztola notes that the covert operations are uncountable:
Beyond that, there are Special Operations forces in countries. Jeremy Scahill in Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, writes, “By mid-2010, the Obama administration had increased the presence of Special Operations forces from sixty countries to seventy-five countries.
Scahill also reports, based on his own “well-placed special operations sources”:
…[A]mong the countries where [Joint Special Operations Command] teams had been deployed under the Obama administration were:Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Yemen, Pakistan (including in Baluchistan) and the Philippines. These teams also at times deployed in Turkey, Belgium, France and Spain. JSOC was also supporting US Drug Enforcement Agency operations in Colombia and Mexico…
Since President Barack Obama has been willing to give the go ahead to operations that President George W. Bush would not have approved, operations have been much more aggressive and, presumably, JSOC has been able to fan out and work in way more countries than ever expected.
Global assassinations have been embraced by the current administration, opening the door to night raids, drone strikes, missile attacks where cluster bombs are used, etc. Each of these operations, as witnessed or experienced by the civilian populations of countries, potentially inflame and increase the number of areas in the world where there are conflict zones.
The world is literally a battlefield with conflicts being waged by the US (or with the “help” of the US). And, no country is off-limits to US military forces.
Of course, JSOC is not accountable to Congress … let alone the public:
JSOC operates outside the confines of the traditional military and even beyond what the CIA is able to do.
But it goes well beyond the war zones. In concert with the Executive’s new claims on extra-judicial assassinations via drone strikes, even if the target is an American citizen, JSOC goes around the world murdering suspects without the oversight of a judge or, god forbid, granting those unfortunate souls the right to defend themselves in court against secret, evidence-less government decrees about their guilt. As Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh said at a speaking event in 2009:
Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on.
There are legal restrictions on what the CIA can do in terms of covert operations. There has to be a finding, the president has to notify at least the “Gang of Eight” [leaders of the intelligence oversight committees] in Congress. JSOC doesn’t have to do any of that. There is very little accountability for their actions. What’s weird is that many in congress who’d be very sensitive to CIA operations almost treat JSOC as an entity that doesn’t have to submit to oversight. It’s almost like this is the president’s private army, we’ll let the president do what he needs to do.
The announcement comes as two Algerian men held at the camp for a decade are released without charge in a revived push towards gradual closure
Dec. 6 2013
The announcement came shortly before two of the 164 inmates were released without charge after spending over a decade each in the prison. The vast majority of those still in the camp have not faced any charges.
Men held at Guantanamo Bay have used hunger strikes to protest over conditions since shortly after the prison opened in January 2002. The US has long disclosed how many are refusing to eat and whether they meet military guidelines to be force fed.
Officials at the prison have now deemed it no longer in their interest to publicly disclose the information however, said Navy commander John Fiolstrat, a spokesman for the military’s Joint Task Force-Guantanamo.
“JTF-Guantanamo allows detainees to peacefully protest, but will not further their protests by reporting the numbers to the public,” Filostrat said in an e-mail.
“The release of this information serves no operational purpose and detracts from the more important issues, which are the welfare of detainees and the safety and security of our troops.”
- hey everyone! i’m nearing the end of my 11th month on testosterone. wow this journey has been so life-changing.
- i know its been a while since i’ve posted this, but if you would like to donate to my chest surgery fundraiser here is the link. I am hoping to use the money from fundraising along side the money that i’ve been saving from work to get surgery for my 23rd birthday in March :]
- so if you are able to donate any amount it would literally mean the world to me. also my online store is open (with more merchandise on the way). profits made from your purchases in the store are also going towards my top surgery.
- share and reblog if you can :]
hey guys, there’s only 12 donators and he’s barely reached a fifth of his goal. I know everyone’s tight on money- it is the holiday season- but this is a really kickass gift for so many reasons. please help a brother out.
In 1956, he was accused of treason for his ANC work. During the trial, he met a social worker called Winnie Madikizela. His first marriage, to Evelyn Mase, ended in divorce two years later.
Palestinian comedians in Gaza have released the above video spoofing the viral “Epic Split” Volvo advertisement that features Belgian martial artist and action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme (The original ad is below if you haven’t seen it).
In their video, Mahmoud Zuaiter performs the acrobatics while a voiceover tells about the sharp deterioration of daily life due to the catastrophic effects of the Israeli siege of Gaza.
The electricity cuts off 12 hours at a time. I have gone to sleep and woken up and the electricity would still not be back, and the water comes on when the electricity is off. I miss taking a shower! All of this does not make Van Damme better than me, but, unfortunately there is no gas in town.
Perhaps Zuaiter is not as fine an acrobat as Van Damme, but the message from these artists in Gaza, though delivered with humor, is far more urgent than Van Damme’s self-congratulatory platitudes for occupation profiteer Volvo.