February 28, 2010

The Macho sport of Figure Skating!! Johnny Weir is making me watch again

Johnny Weir held a press conference in Vancouver yesterday in response to controversy that has arisen in Quebec and elsewhere over remarks made by sportscasters about his persona and his costumes.

Said Weir: "I'm not somebody to cry over something or to be weak about something. I felt very defiant when I saw these comments. It wasn't these two men criticizing my skating, it was them criticizing me as a person, and that was something that really, frankly, pissed me off...I hope more kids can grow up the same way I did and more kids can feel the freedom that I feel to be themselves and to express themselves and that's the most important thing."

The skater added: "I'm always thought of the sparkly flamboyant character that wore a crown of roses...nobody knows me. I think masculinity is what you believe it to be. To me, masculinity is all my perception. I think masculinity and femininity is something that's very old fashioned. There's a whole new generation of people that aren't defined by their sex or their race or who they like to sleep with. I think as a person you know what your values are and what you believe in and I that''s the most important thing."

February 27, 2010

One more suicide of a famous youth: Marie's Osmond

Blosil jumped to his death from his Los Angeles apartment on Friday night around 9 p.m. The Los Angeles Fire Department tells us they received a 911 call at 9:24 p.m. and were dispatched a minute later. An individual who'd fallen from a 15-story building was found dead at the scene of the incident.

The ongoing investigation is being handled by the
LAPD and the Los Angeles Coroner's Department. An autopsy might be conducted as soon as Sunday morning.

Blosil is one of Marie Osmond's eight children. He wrote in his suicide note that he’d suffered from life-long depression.

RU stupid if ur religious..or smarter if ur not???????

CNN reports today of a study that finds that men who are liberal, atheist, and sexually exclusive stand to have a higher IQ than those who are conservative, religious, and prone to multiple sexual partners.

“Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ” offers the usual caution of not using these findings to “stereotype or make assumptions about people,” but does make one wonder.

“The reasoning is that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans’ evolutionary past. In other words, none of these traits would have benefited our early human ancestors, but higher intelligence may be associated with them.

“The adoption of some evolutionarily novel ideas makes some sense in terms of moving the species forward,” said George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey, who was not involved in the study. “It also makes perfect sense that more intelligent people — people with, sort of, more intellectual firepower — are likely to be the ones to do that.”

“Religion, the current theory goes, did not help people survive or reproduce necessarily, but goes along the lines of helping people to be paranoid, Kanazawa said. Assuming that, for example, a noise in the distance is a signal of a threat helped early humans to prepare in case of danger.

“It helps life to be paranoid, and because humans are paranoid, they become more religious, and they see the hands of God everywhere,” Kanazawa said.”

Single Men, Unhappily coupled men..Risk of Fatal Stroke

"Single Men, Unhappily Married Men May Have Higher Risk Of Fatal Stroke"

Single or unhappily married men may have an elevated risk of fatal stroke in the coming decades, according to a large study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2010.

The findings are based on earlier work in which researchers examined 10,059 civil servants and municipal workers (average age 49) who participated in the Israeli Ischemic Heart Disease Study in 1963. Using the national death registry and other records, researchers tracked the fate of the men through 1997, the last year for which underlying causes of death had been coded.

Among the men who in 1963 were single, 8.4 percent died of stroke in the following 34 years, compared with 7.1 percent of the married men. Considering age at death and adjusting for socioeconomic status, obesity, blood pressure, smoking habits and family size, as well as existing diabetes and heart disease at the time of the earlier survey, single men had a 64 percent higher risk of fatal stroke than did married men. That figure is comparable to the risk of fatal stroke faced by men with diabetes, said Uri Goldbourt, Ph.D., author of the study.

Furthermore, in 1965, the married men had been asked to evaluate their marriages as very successful, quite successful, not so successful, or unsuccessful. In an analysis of the 3.6 percent of men who had reported dissatisfaction in their marriage, adjusted risk of a fatal stroke was also 64 percent higher, compared with men who considered their marriages very successful.

"I had not expected that unsuccessful marriage would be of this statistical importance," said Goldbourt, a professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

The new research has several limitations, he said, including a lack of data on nonfatal vs. fatal strokes and on participants' medical treatment after the first five years of the initial study. Women also weren't included.

While the effects of marital status and success may be similar in women, "there are still differences, and research on women is clearly needed," Goldbourt said.

The research is a snapshot of Israel from more than four decades ago, he said. "How much this reflects associations between being happily or relatively happily married and stroke-free survival in other populations, at later times, is not readily deduced."
American Cancer Society

February 26, 2010

AF: A beautiful guy with everything to live for. Looks, money, advantages that many people will kill for; Yet he did not want to continue in this journey, which happens to be a very short one. Obvious to me is that he had something inside that was eating him alive and until it did.Former "Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig was found dead Thursday in a wooded area of a sprawling downtown park where he enjoyed spending time, apparently after committing suicide.

The actor's father, Walter Koenig, said "my son took his own life," and police spokeswoman Jana McGuinness said, "I'll let Mr. Koenig's words speak for themselves."

"He was obviously in a lot of pain," Walter Koenig said, referring his son's lifelong depression.

McGuinness, speaking at a press conference at the park, said foul play was not involved, but said she could not be more specific because the coroner was taking over the investigation.

Andrew Koenig, 41, had a recurring role on the 1980s sitcom as Richard "Boner" Stabone, a pal of star Kirk Cameron's character, Mike. The native of Venice, California, hadn't been seen since Feb. 14, while visiting friends in Vancouver.

He was supposed to return home two days later. His parents reported him missing Feb. 18, then asked the public for help finding him a few days later.

On Tuesday, Vancouver police and three search-and-rescue teams looked for any signs of Koenig throughout Stanley Park, which covers more than 1,000 acres (400 hectares). Friends and family decided to try again on their own Thursday and one of them found Koenig's body near a marsh in a heavily wooded area about 100 feet (30 meters) off the Bridle Path. McGuinness said the body could not be seen from the walking path.

The elder Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov on the original "Star Trek" TV series, was nearby when the body was found. Hours later, Koenig and his wife, Judith, issued a statement at a police station in the park.

They said Andrew had been depressed, and had said earlier that he had given away his belongings and had been off his medication. They urged others who are having trouble coping to seek help.

"If you are one of those people who can't handle it any more, know people are out there who really care before you make that final decision," Walter Koenig said. "Talk to somebody."

Koenig had said he that his son had cleaned out his apartment in Los Angeles, a city where he felt like he didn't belong. Koenig did not know his son planned to move to Vancouver, which is what Andrew told friends before he disappeared.

Andrew Koenig also appeared in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "My Two Dads," and "G.I. Joe," and the films "NonSeNse," "InAlienable" and "The Theory of Everything." His father has praised his son for his acting, film editing and directing work, and said he was also a busy environmental activist. He also was an advocate for refugees from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

In 2008, Koenig was arrested during the Rose Bowl parade in California while protesting China's support for Myanmar's military government.

He came to love Vancouver after shooting a TV episode there, and once lived there for three years.

February 25, 2010


Sicily, Italia

The people of Sicily are often portrayed as very proud of their island, identity and culture and it is not uncommon for people to describe themselves as Sicilian, before the more national description of Italian.[64] Despite the existence of major cities such as Palermo, Catania, Messina and Syracuse, popular stereotypes of Sicilians commonly allude to ruralism, for example the coppola is one of the main symbols of Sicilian identity; it is derived from the flat cap of rural Northern England which arrived in 1800 when Bourbon king Ferdinand I had fled to Sicily and was protected by the British Royal Navy.[65]
Sicily has been under the control of a variety of different cultures, including the original Italic people, the Romans, Vandals, Greeks, Byzantines, Saracens and Normans, each contributing to the island's culture, particularly in the areas of cuisine and architecture. Sicilian people tend to most closely associate themselves with other southern Italians, with whom they share a common history. The island of Sicily itself has a population of approximately five million, and there are an additional ten million people of Sicilian descent around the world, mostly in North America, Argentina, Australia and other European countries. Like the rest of Southern Italy, immigration to the island is very low compared to other regions of Italy because workers tend to head to Northern Italy instead, due to better employment and industrial opportunities.

Most whales killed 'were pregnant'

July 24, 2007 - 9:15AM

Bloody waters ... the majority of whales killed were pregnant females, new report claims.
Photo: Kate Davison

More than half the whales killed by Japanese whalers in the Antarctic last summer were pregnant females, the Humane Society International (HSI) said today.

The group said that of the 505 Antarctic minke whales killed, 262 of them were pregnant females, while one of the three giant fin whales killed was also pregnant.

The findings came from a review of Japanese reports from their most recent 2006-07 whale hunt in Antarctic waters and were released ahead of the resumption of a Federal Court case the HSI is taking against Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd.

Japanese whalers take hundreds of whales each year in Antarctic waters for so-called scientific study purposes.

"These are gruesome statistics that the Japanese government dresses up as science", HSI spokeswoman Nicola Beynon said in a statement.

She said the HSI was hoping the court would set a date for a full hearing of the case at today's directions hearing.

"The full hearing will be to determine whether Japanese whalers are in breach of Australian law when they hunt whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica and whether the court will issue an injunction for the hunt to be stopped," Ms Beynon said.

"HSI will ask for the final hearing to be held as soon as possible before the hunt starts up again this summer.

"It has been three years since HSI launched the case and many hurdles have been overcome to get to this point.

"It horrifies Australians to know that pregnant humpback whales breeding in the warm waters off Australia this winter will be targeted by the

February 24, 2010

Media Expose on Distortions on "Don't Ask Don't Tell"


Some great work from Media Matters today in a posting detailing the Myths and Falsehoods on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.

Media Matters (with a coalition of groups and individuals) also penned a letter to the media advising them to be wary of distortions regarding the military gay ban and its repeal.

Wrote MM:

Don't Ask, Don't Tell proponents too often paint a distorted picture of what a repeal would mean. Today, Media Matters for America released a comprehensive review detailing how opinion pages and cable news talk shows have been flooded with falsehoods and anti-gay rhetoric to support the dubious argument that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is working.

Myths that repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell would adversely affect unit cohesion, retention, or the HIV rate among servicemembers are not based in reality. Similarly, the anti-gay rhetoric permeating many of these arguments only serves to cheapen the national discussion on this important issue.

Because news outlets continue to repeat these outrageous myths, a coalition of organizations is banding together to combat misinformation about the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law. As Congress moves forward on this legislation, we will be vigilant in ensuring that news reports are accurate and fair. The public deserves an honest debate -- not one marred by blatant falsehoods and anti-gay attacks.

HRC signed on to the action, as did GLAAD.


February 23, 2010

There was Michele Bachmann, waxing moronic as only Michele Bachmann can do

One speaker referred to it as "the Conservative Woodstock". Unlike the last Woodstock, however, "our women are beautiful." Apparently this freak has the hots for Phyllis Schlafly. Va va voom!

Another convention of pissed off and clueless white people blew into town last week. The Conservative Political Action Conference - CPAC to you and me - staged this silly photo-op for no other purpose than to flex some badly whithered muscles. And as far as anyone can tell, it was, in fact, an all white gathering. Some idiotic commentator at FOX Noise claimed that he had heard from a friend that there was an African American spotted on the periphreals of the crowd chomping the life out of a hapless watermelon - but that has yet to be confirmed by any responsible news agency. Sarah Palin, for reasons no one can explain, did not show up.

They came to preform what (in a perfect world) would be dismissed as an impossible feat: convincing their fellow citizens that the failed economic and social policies advocated by the right wing for the last three decades should be advanced once again on Election Day 2010. But this is not a perfect world, and - given the American electorate's hideous track record in recent years - their chances of taking back the House and Senate this November is a pretty safe bet. Or is it?

Although concealed by a facade of respectability, this was a vicious crowd. Come to think of it, "crowd" is too polite a term. This was a mob. In normal circumstances, considering the eight years of damage they were able to inflict upon the country they profess to love so much, one might think that their cause would have been pronounced dead-as-a-doornail at this late stage. But these were a people united and reinvigorated, bought together by their utter contempt - their irrational hatred - for that goddammed nigger in the White House. That was their hideous, unspeakable and unspoken common denominator. I just spoke it for them.

These were a people with a renewed sense of mission.

"The sky's the limit here. I think 2010 is going to be a phenomenal year for the Conservative cause. And I think Barack Obama is a one-term president."

Dick Cheney

In a spontaneous display of twisted adulation, the crowd chanted in unison, "RUN, CHENEY, RUN!!!" The Dickster, to my bitter disappointment, assured them that he would not run. Pity. I've been wishing like Jiminy Cricket on a star for a Cheney/Palin ticket in 2012. Wouldn't that be the perfect farce? Sickie Dick and Fascist Barbie! Ah, the possibilities....

Cheney wasn't the only icon of the uber right to make himself known to the drooling throng. The Grand Old Party's rock stars showed up in half-witted droves for this show.

There was Michele Bachmann, waxing moronic as only Michele Bachmann can do. Almost four weeks ago on this very site, I asked the musical question, "Can Michele Bachman possibly get any stupider?" The answer, apparently, is yes. She showed a giant slide of a billboard in her home state of Minnesota which displayed a huge photograph of George W. Bush. Underneath the moronically smiling Dubya was this caption:


Not surprisingly, this ocean of assholes misses him terribly. So, too, does Michele Bachmann. It was quite touching really.

There was John Boehner giving a speech demonstrating the complete gullibility of his audience given the fact that he wasn't laughed off the podium:

Ladies and gentlemen, if you help elect a Republican Congress this November, and I'm fortunate enough to be elected Speaker of the House, I pledge to you right here and now: we're going to run the House differently."

I wish I could have set up a concession stand outside that hall selling my new line of gas heaters made out of balsa wood. I'd have walked away with a small fortune.

There was former Congressman Dick Armey demonstrating yet again that he has spent the last ten years in a vacuum. I am not kidding you, he actually had this to say about the president: "You're intellectually shallow; you're a romantic; you're self-indulgent." He then went on to call Obama, "the most incompetent president perhaps in our lifetime."

QUESTION: What was this knucklehead doing between the years 2001 and 2009? Any ideas?

There was Marco Rubio, the GOP's latest poster boy and candidate for senate. This guy also fancies himself something of a comedian. It was a good thing that Washington was shut down last week by the worst snow storm in its history. Why? Because "the president couldn't find anywhere to set up a teleprompter to announce new taxes." THAT'S A KILLER! WHAT A COMEDIAN! Here's what made the remark so funny: he was reading off of a teleprompter when he made it. That's what I love about these people - totally void of any sense irony.


Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has made use of the teleprompter. How far do you think Reagan or either of the Bushes would have gotten without that invention? I find it interesting that in a half century, only the black guy got criticized for actually using it. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

And then there was Glenn Beck with his tired old robo-message: Liberalism equals Communism. The fact that this nitwit was welcomed with open arm to this event should give you a fairly good idea where their heads are at.

So I guess the writing is on the wall; the Democrats are going to get hammered on Election Day, right? I wouldn't be too sure about that. There are far too many monkey wrenches that are ready to be thrown into this engine. The most amusing thing to observe during the CPAC orgy last Thursday was their subtle attempt to disassociate themselves from the so-called "Tea Party Movement" without flatly rejecting it. What is going on here?

Here's what's going on: The cooler heads within the Republican National Committee know damned well that the Tea Partiers a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. It's not only the fact that most of these people are dumber than dog shit, it's also the ugly fact that so much (although not all) of that movement is based on the nasty philosophy that has embodied the white supremacist movement for decades. You could see it in the signs and remarks of the protesters at the September 12, March on Washington last year. Most of these twits refuse to acknowledge that the president of the United States is an American citizen!

Like Chamberlain appeasing der fuhrer in Munich in 1938, the RNC has quite a dilemma before it. On the one hand they need to keep these jackasses "inside the tent pissing out" - so to speak. On the other hand they have to avoid alienating moderates. Like the demented uncle living in the attic, they must do everything humanly possible to limit his contact with the neighbor's kids if you know what I mean.

The Tea Party people are already claiming credit for Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts a couple weeks ago. They are determined to steer the course of the GOP in November, come hell or high water. If they are allowed control of the party, their extremism will only turn off a huge segment of the voting population. If they are denied that opportunity, they will splinter off into third and even fourth party uprisings. Have you ever watched an elephant try to walk a tightrope? It's more fun than a barrel of donkeys!

In the final analysis, the CPAC convention last week was not the celebration of omnipotence they would have us believe. It was nothing more than an organization of desperate politicians trying to put a pretty face on a dead pig. They have no ideas. They have no vision. The only reason for the existence of the Republican party since the days of President Grant is to serve as handmaidens to their only constituency - the plutocracy. This fact is becoming more and more obvious to even the casual observer; hence their desperation. Will Election Day prove to be the landslide for the Republicans that so many are predicting? Don't count on it. That weird uncle is walking the streets.

Tom Degan

I am who I am - I don't need instructions on how to be a gay man

I reject a ridiculously narrow standard of what it means to be a man. I reject that a man must meet these foolish, harmful standards. And when I don't meet that standard, it's not because I'm gay. It's not because a gay man is less of a man. My "effeminate" or "less manly" behaviour or tastes most certainly does not somehow prove some trait about gay men everywhere. I am my own person and it is an absurdity to infer anything about other gay men by my actions. I am a gay man. The fact I am a man solely attracted to other men, and that I identify as gay is enough to make me a gay man. I am not any less gay because I am not flamboyant enough. I am not closeting myself because I don't wear glitter or rainbows or pink (pink? I look AWFUL in pink). I am not refusing to embrace my gayness by not wanting to wear drag. My monogamous life and preference for monogamy is not some kind of betrayal of what it means to be GBLT. It doesn't make me a wanna-be heterosexual. My domestic partnership (gah I hate that ridiculous term - my MARRIAGE as it should be) doesn't make me somehow not truly gay.

February 22, 2010

The Government decided to poison you in order to make you slow down on drinking

The Chemist's War
The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.
By Deborah Blum
Posted Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, at 10:00 AM ET

Detroit police inspecting a clandestine underground brewery during Prohibition.
It was Christmas Eve 1926, the streets aglitter with snow and lights, when the man afraid of Santa Claus stumbled into the emergency room at New York City's Bellevue Hospital. He was flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he kept telling the nurses, was just behind him, wielding a baseball bat.
Before hospital staff realized how sick he was—the alcohol-induced hallucination was just a symptom—the man died. So did another holiday partygoer. And another. As dusk fell on Christmas, the hospital staff tallied up more than 60 people made desperately ill by alcohol and eight dead from it. Within the next two days, yet another 23 people died in the city from celebrating the season.

Doctors were accustomed to alcohol poisoning by then, the routine of life in the Prohibition era. The bootlegged whiskies and so-called gins often made people sick. The liquor produced in hidden stills frequently came tainted with metals and other impurities. But this outbreak was bizarrely different. The deaths, as investigators would shortly realize, came courtesy of the U.S. government.
Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.
Although mostly forgotten today, the "chemist's war of Prohibition" remains one of the strangest and most deadly decisions in American law-enforcement history. As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was "our national experiment in extermination." Poisonous alcohol still kills—16 people died just this month after drinking lethal booze in Indonesia, where bootleggers make their own brews to avoid steep taxes—but that's due to unscrupulous businessmen rather than government order.

I learned of the federal poisoning program while researching my new book, The Poisoner's Handbook, which is set in jazz-age New York. My first reaction was that I must have gotten it wrong. "I never heard that the government poisoned people during Prohibition, did you?" I kept saying to friends, family members, colleagues.
I did, however, remember the U.S. government's controversial decision in the 1970s to spray Mexican marijuana fields with Paraquat, an herbicide. Its use was primarily intended to destroy crops, but government officials also insisted that awareness of the toxin would deter marijuana smokers. They echoed the official position of the 1920s—if some citizens ended up poisoned, well, they'd brought it upon themselves. Although Paraquat wasn't really all that toxic, the outcry forced the government to drop the plan. Still, the incident created an unsurprising lack of trust in government motives, which reveals itself in the occasional rumors circulating today that federal agencies, such as the CIA, mix poison into the illegal drug supply.
During Prohibition, however, an official sense of higher purpose kept the poisoning program in place. As the Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1927: "Normally, no American government would engage in such business. … It is only in the curious fanaticism of Prohibition that any means, however barbarous, are considered justified." Others, however, accused lawmakers opposed to the poisoning plan of being in cahoots with criminals and argued that bootleggers and their law-breaking alcoholic customers deserved no sympathy. "Must Uncle Sam guarantee safety first for souses?" asked Nebraska's Omaha Bee.
The saga began with ratification of the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverages in the United States.* High-minded crusaders and anti-alcohol organizations had helped push the amendment through in 1919, playing on fears of moral decay in a country just emerging from war. The Volstead Act, spelling out the rules for enforcement, passed shortly later, and Prohibition itself went into effect on Jan. 1, 1920.
But people continued to drink—and in large quantities. Alcoholism rates soared during the 1920s; insurance companies charted the increase at more than 300 more percent. Speakeasies promptly opened for business. By the decade's end, some 30,000 existed in New York City alone. Street gangs grew into bootlegging empires built on smuggling, stealing, and manufacturing illegal alcohol. The country's defiant response to the new laws shocked those who sincerely (and naively) believed that the amendment would usher in a new era of upright behavior.
Rigorous enforcement had managed to slow the smuggling of alcohol from Canada and other countries. But crime syndicates responded by stealing massive quantities of industrial alcohol—used in paints and solvents, fuels and medical supplies—and redistilling it to make it potable.
Well, sort of. Industrial alcohol is basically grain alcohol with some unpleasant chemicals mixed in to render it undrinkable. The U.S. government started requiring this "denaturing" process in 1906 for manufacturers who wanted to avoid the taxes levied on potable spirits. The U.S. Treasury Department, charged with overseeing alcohol enforcement, estimated that by the mid-1920s, some 60 million gallons of industrial alcohol were stolen annually to supply the country's drinkers. In response, in 1926, President Calvin Coolidge's government decided to turn to chemistry as an enforcement tool. Some 70 denaturing formulas existed by the 1920s. Most simply added poisonous methyl alcohol into the mix. Others used bitter-tasting compounds that were less lethal, designed to make the alcohol taste so awful that it became undrinkable.
To sell the stolen industrial alcohol, the liquor syndicates employed chemists to "renature" the products, returning them to a drinkable state. The bootleggers paid their chemists a lot more than the government did, and they excelled at their job. Stolen and redistilled alcohol became the primary source of liquor in the country. So federal officials ordered manufacturers to make their products far more deadly.
By mid-1927, the new denaturing formulas included some notable poisons—kerosene and brucine (a plant alkaloid closely related to strychnine), gasoline, benzene, cadmium, iodine, zinc, mercury salts, nicotine, ether, formaldehyde, chloroform, camphor, carbolic acid, quinine, and acetone. The Treasury Department also demanded more methyl alcohol be added—up to 10 percent of total product. It was the last that proved most deadly.
The results were immediate, starting with that horrific holiday body count in the closing days of 1926. Public health officials responded with shock. "The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol," New York City medical examiner Charles Norris said at a hastily organized press conference. "[Y]et it continues its poisoning processes, heedless of the fact that people determined to drink are daily absorbing that poison. Knowing this to be true, the United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes, although it cannot be held legally responsible."
His department issued warnings to citizens, detailing the dangers in whiskey circulating in the city: "[P]ractically all the liquor that is sold in New York today is toxic," read one 1928 alert. He publicized every death by alcohol poisoning. He assigned his toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, to analyze confiscated whiskey for poisons—that long list of toxic materials I cited came in part from studies done by the New York City medical examiner's office.
Norris also condemned the federal program for its disproportionate effect on the country's poorest residents. Wealthy people, he pointed out, could afford the best whiskey available. Most of those sickened and dying were those "who cannot afford expensive protection and deal in low grade stuff."
And the numbers were not trivial. In 1926, in New York City, 1,200 were sickened by poisonous alcohol; 400 died. The following year, deaths climbed to 700. These numbers were repeated in cities around the country as public-health officials nationwide joined in the angry clamor. Furious anti-Prohibition legislators pushed for a halt in the use of lethal chemistry. "Only one possessing the instincts of a wild beast would desire to kill or make blind the man who takes a drink of liquor, even if he purchased it from one violating the Prohibition statutes," proclaimed Sen. James Reed of Missouri.
Officially, the special denaturing program ended only once the 18th Amendment was repealed in December 1933. But the chemist's war itself faded away before then. Slowly, government officials quit talking about it. And when Prohibition ended and good grain whiskey reappeared, it was almost as if the craziness of Prohibition—and the poisonous measures taken to enforce it—had never quite happened.

If this list doesn't make you hungry, then you're already ahead of most of us.

7 Worst Restaurant Starters

A funny thing has happened to America's restaurant appetizers, starters, and sides: They've started growing bigger than the main meals. It's now common for a diner to wolf down 500 or 600 greasy calories before even starting on the entree, or to find that amount sitting alongside an already-giant burger.

One might wonder where all the calories end up. The answer: our collective belly-fat supplies. Last year, obesity rates stayed constant in only 13 states, while the other 37 states saw an increase. This big fat growth—which stretches over 75 percent of America—is due in no small part to our propensity to eat full meals before we eat full meals. (It's not uncommon anymore to take in two days' worth of calories in a single meal at one of our favorite restaurants.)

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To help you wrap your arms around the problem, the writers of the best-selling Eat This, Not That! series have gathered the most gluttonous starters and side binges in America. If this list doesn't make you hungry, then you're already ahead of most of us.

Worst Seafood Appetizer

Long John Silver’s Breaded Clam Strips

320 calories
19 g fat (4.5 g saturated, 7 g trans fat)
1,190 mg sodium
The restaurant industry began to shift away from frying in partially hydrogenated oil 10 years ago. Now, Long John Silver’s is one of the few places left clinging to their trans-fatty fare. The word that should have set you off was “breaded”—it implies that the dish has been fried in oils, and in this case, those oils are packed with potentially heart-harming trans fats. Who wants to order fried seafood through a squawk box anyway? Luckily, Long John also serves up a number of dishes that boost good cholesterol, none better than the simple grilled fillet of salmon.

Bonus tip: Bad fats boost your cholesterol; too much sodium spikes blood pressure. Eat sparingly the foods on our list of the 30 Saltiest Foods in America.

Eat This Instead!

Lobster Stuffed Crab Cake

170 calories
8 g fat (2 g saturated, 0 g trans)
390 mg sodium
Worst Drive-Thru Side

Arby’s Large Mozzarella Sticks

650 calories
35 g fat (13 g saturated)
2,220 mg sodium
Fried cheese is never a good idea, but as a sandwich sidekick, it spells certain disaster. Anything with as much saturated fat as a Double Whopper should not be called an appetizer or a side. Arby’s menu presents a side dish conundrum, given that their entire roster of “Sides and Sidekickers” receives the deep-fried treatment. Best to skip over this section entirely. If it’s cheese you crave, order the French Dip ’N Swiss or Ham and Swiss Melt instead to save more than 300 calories.
By David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, Men's Health


NYC Chinatown's Lunar New Year parade included gay groups for the first time: "Wearing rainbow bandannas, about 300 gays and supporters waved versions of the fish and the phoenix, traditional Chinese symbols for prosperity and renewal. They were joined by drummers and even a costumed tiger with its own rainbow armbands. 'We are ecstatic. It's a huge step forward,' said Irene Tung, 31, a spokeswoman for Q-Wave, which led the gay contingent."

USA Today on gay life in mainland China: "Because many Asians live with their parents until they get married, it's often harder for them to lead openly gay lives. 'Maybe you can come out in your workplace, but not at home, so you get married,' says Zhang Beichuan, a professor at Qingdao University and an expert on homosexuality. China's one-child policy also puts pressure on gays and lesbians to have kids, because their families 'really care that they produce a child,' says Sun Zhongxin, who pioneered a 2005 course about homosexuality at Fudan University in Shanghai. The prevalence of double lives — by one measure, as many as 90% of Chinese gays marry the opposite sex, compared with a fraction of that in Western nations — has prevented true acceptance of homosexuality, some experts say."

February 21, 2010

If u got a job try to keep it!

Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs

BUENA PARK, Calif. — Even as the American economy shows tentative signs of a rebound, the human toll of the recession continues to mount, with millions of Americans remaining out of work, out of savings and nearing the end of their unemployment benefits

Monica Almeida/The New York Times
“There are no bad jobs now. Any job is a good job,” said Jean Eisen, who became unemployed more than two years ago.
The New Poor
Long-Term Unemployment
Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives — potentially for years to come.

Yet the social safety net is already showing severe strains. Roughly 2.7 million jobless people will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless Congress approves the Obama administration’s proposal to extend the payments, according to the Labor Department.

Here in Southern California, Jean Eisen has been without work since she lost her job selling beauty salon equipment more than two years ago. In the several months she has endured with neither a paycheck nor an unemployment check, she has relied on local food banks for her groceries.

She has learned to live without the prescription medications she is supposed to take for high blood pressure and cholesterol. She has become effusively religious — an unexpected turn for this onetime standup comic with X-rated material — finding in Christianity her only form of health insurance.

“I pray for healing,” says Ms. Eisen, 57. “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got to go with what you know.”

Warm, outgoing and prone to the positive, Ms. Eisen has worked much of her life. Now, she is one of 6.3 million Americans who have been unemployed for six months or longer, the largest number since the government began keeping track in 1948. That is more than double the toll in the next-worst period, in the early 1980s.

Men have suffered the largest numbers of job losses in this recession. But Ms. Eisen has the unfortunate distinction of being among a group — women from 45 to 64 years of age — whose long-term unemployment rate has grown rapidly.

In 1983, after a deep recession, women in that range made up only 7 percent of those who had been out of work for six months or longer, according to the Labor Department. Last year, they made up 14 percent.

Twice, Ms. Eisen exhausted her unemployment benefits before her check was restored by a federal extension. Last week, her check ran out again. She and her husband now settle their bills with only his $1,595 monthly disability check. The rent on their apartment is $1,380.

“We’re looking at the very real possibility of being homeless,” she said.

Every downturn pushes some people out of the middle class before the economy resumes expanding. Most recover. Many prosper. But some economists worry that this time could be different. An unusual constellation of forces — some embedded in the modern-day economy, others unique to this wrenching recession — might make it especially difficult for those out of work to find their way back to their middle-class lives.

Labor experts say the economy needs 100,000 new jobs a month just to absorb entrants to the labor force. With more than 15 million people officially jobless, even a vigorous recovery is likely to leave an enormous number out of work for years.

Some labor experts note that severe economic downturns are generally followed by powerful expansions, suggesting that aggressive hiring will soon resume. But doubts remain about whether such hiring can last long enough to absorb anywhere close to the millions of unemployed.

A New Scarcity of Jobs

Some labor experts say the basic functioning of the American economy has changed in ways that make jobs scarce — particularly for older, less-educated people like Ms. Eisen, who has only a high school diploma.

Large companies are increasingly owned by institutional investors who crave swift profits, a feat often achieved by cutting payroll. The declining influence of unions has made it easier for employers to shift work to part-time and temporary employees. Factory work and even white-collar jobs have moved in recent years to low-cost countries in Asia and Latin America. Automation has helped manufacturing cut 5.6 million jobs since 2000 — the sort of jobs that once provided lower-skilled workers with middle-class paychecks.

February 19, 2010

yo, IM home and all the lights are on!

If you haven't heard about this new Web site yet, pull up a chair. Because you might make the next list of "new opportunities" of empty homes available for pilfering.

A new Web site, called PleaseRobMe.com, pulls information from social networking sites like Twitter, Foursquare and Google Buzz, that indicates that the user is not home. It then posts that message and the user's whereabouts (if known) online for all to see.

For example, you just sent a Twitter, like poor ole' @donagher did, saying "I'm at Specialty's Cafe and Bakery - Mountain View," and now anyone who knows @donagher, knows he's not home. Would-be thieves can filter by location or Twitter name. Yikes.

The Dutch developers, Barry Borsboom, Boy van Amstel and Frank Groeneveld say they like social networking, but that their goal is to shine a giant spotlight on the dangerous side-effects of location sharing.

Yo. I'm home and all of the lights and cameras are on.

Smoked or vapor MaryJane will help the pain

Medical Marijuana Has Merit, Research Shows

Feb. 18, 2010 -- Marijuana can be a promising treatment for some specific, pain-related medical conditions, according to California researchers who presented an update of their findings Wednesday to the California Legislature and also released them to the public.

''I think the evidence is getting better and better that marijuana, or the constituents of cannabis, are useful at least in the adjunctive treatment of neuropathy," Igor Grant, MD, executive vice-chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, tells WebMD.

''We don't know if it's a front-line treatment. I'm hoping the results of our studies will prompt larger-scale studies that involve a much more varied population."

''This [report given to the Legislature] sets the stage of larger-scale studies,'' he says.

Some experts who reviewed the report say some of the studies are flawed and that they worry about the long-term health effects of marijuana smoke.

Perspective: Medical Marijuana Research
Some observers speculated that the researchers presented their report to the Legislature to call attention to marijuana research because an initiative to legalize marijuana for general use is expected to be on the California ballot in November 2010.

But Grant says that's not the case. "We sent it to the Legislature because our report was due," he says.

The program Grant directs was launched in 1999, when the California Legislature passed (and the governor signed) SB 847. Since then, the center has completed five scientific trials, with more in progress.

Medical Marijuana: The Research Scorecard
Five studies, published in peer-reviewed medical journals, show the value of marijuana for pain-related conditions, the researchers say in the report.

Smoked cannabis reduced pain in HIV patients. In one study, 50 patients assigned either to cannabis or placebo finished the study. Although 52% of those who smoked marijuana had a 30% or more reduction in pain intensity, just 24% of those in the placebo group did. The study is published in the journal Neurology. In another study, 28 HIV patients were assigned to either marijuana or placebo -- and 46% of pot smokers compared to 18% of the placebo group reported 30% or more pain relief. That study is in Neuropsychopharmacology.
Marijuana helped reduce pain in people suffering spinal cord injury and other conditions. In this study, 38 patients smoked either high-dose or low-dose marijuana; 32 finished all three sessions. Both doses reduced neuropathic pain from different causes. Results appear in the Journal of Pain.
Medium doses of marijuana can reduce pain perception, another study found. Fifteen healthy volunteers smoked a low, medium, or high dose of marijuana to see if it could counteract the pain produced by an injection of capsaicin, the ''hot'' ingredient in chili peppers. The higher the dose, the greater the pain relief. The study was published in Anesthesiology.
Vaporized marijuana can be safe, other research found. In this study, 14 volunteers were assigned to get low, medium, or high doses of pot, either smoked or by vaporization delivery, on six different occasions. The vaporized method was found safe; patients preferred it to smoking. The study is in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
A sixth study, as yet unpublished, found marijuana better than placebo cigarettes in reducing the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and the pain associated with the spasticity.
By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

February 18, 2010

"Everybody's journey is individual"

"Everybody's journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality." -James Baldwin
Born in Harlem in 1924, American novelist, essayist, and playwright James Baldwin is one of the most renowned figures in American literature. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) is an autobiographical work about coming of age as the son of a Harlem preacher. His later and most socially significant novel, Giovanni’s Room (1956), spoke of homosexuality and interracial relationships, challenging social constructions of post-WWII society.

February 17, 2010

Ewan enjoyed french kissing another guy


Ewan McGregor talks to OUT magazine about how much he enjoys nudity and pushing the limits of sexuality on screen:

“I always try not to limit myself in all respects. Sexuality is just one of them. I could understand saying ‘I would never do gratuitous nudity.’ Wait. No. I probably would. I’d probably be quite happy to. I remember getting a kind of rush out of [going full frontal] that first time, a slight feeling of power about it, you know?”

McGregor also reveals that he shot two takes of a fellatio scene on Jim Carrey in the upcoming film I Love You Phillip Morris: "There were two alternatives. There was the spit, and there was a really nice slow swallow, where I look at him and just do a loud swallow. I really like that one, but I guess they went for the more obvious spit over the side.”

McGregor recently told the L.A. Times that he "quite liked kissing Jim Carrey" in the film.

He also recently dashed suggestions that it's not a gay movie:

"Y'know there was a lot of talk about it at Sundance about it not being a 'gay movie.' Well, I think it is a gay movie. Of course it's a gay movie. It's about two gay men or three gay men, y'know? And a man whose relationships are with men. And although the humor isn't born out of the fact it's about gay men, it's a funny movie. Y'know, I never wanted to be worried about the fact that it's a gay story because it is. I hope they locked it that way. You can imagine that the people who deal with such things going, 'Oh, let's make sure people don't think it's a gay movie and y'know that won't sell.' But of course it is, and it's a good film."

February 13, 2010

Gay Man Gets Top Pentagon Job

Despite the snowpocalypse and continued Republican efforts to block presidential appointments, on Thursday the U.S. Senate confirmed two openly gay individuals to fill positions in the Obama administration, including a top job in the Defense Department.
By unanimous vote, senators confirmed Douglas Wilson to the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. This is a civilian position in the Defense Department; therefore, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT),” which prevents openly gay people from serving the U.S. military, doesn’t apply to him. During the Clinton administration, Wilson had served as the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary for public affairs.
I initially did not understand the significance of Wilson’s appointment until I did some research. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs acts as the principal staff advisor and assistant to the US Secretary of Defense and the US Deputy Secretary of Defense. He is responsible for providing Defense Department information to the public, United States Congress and the media. Wilson will lead a worldwide public affairs community comprised of almost 4,000 military and civilian personnel.
ACTION from the White House! Finally. Not words, but action. This appointment is crucial in the repeal of DADT. We finally have someone who not only sympathizes, but EMPATHIZES with the discrimination that gays face.
Additionally, the Senate confirmed by unanimous consent openly lesbian attorney Cynthia Atwood, to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the independent federal agency that regulates challenges to citations or penalties of OSHA inspections in the American workplace.
For the last three years, Atwood has been an administrative appeals judge for the Labor Department’s administrative review board, and for eight years was an attorney adviser for that board.
Both Wilson and Atwood were nominated to their positions after being recommended by the Presidential Appointments Project, a Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund-led initiative that helps openly LGBT individuals get appointments in the Obama administration.
Denis Dison, a Victory Fund spokesperson, praised the Senate for confirming Wilson and Atwood. “We’re glad the Senate finally confirmed these two outstanding individuals,” he said. “They are proof that the president is focused on finding the best people to work in his administration, and we’re proud they’ve stepped up to serve their country.”
The Senate confirmation came after President Obama threatened to use his power to make recess appointments after obstruction tactics by Republican senators had prevented the confirmation of more than 63 nominees.
In a statement, President Obama commended the Senate for allowing 27 nominations to move forward, but said he may still make recess appointments if the Senate doesn’t act on more nominees when it comes back from break.
“While this is a good first step, there are still dozens of nominees on hold who deserve a similar vote, and I will be looking for action from the Senate when it returns from recess,” Obama said. “If they do not act, I reserve the right to use my recess appointment authority in the future.”
I take this as an olive branch, a sign of peace indicative of a new attitude from our President. Perhaps he will use or at least threaten his executive authority in more ways than one? Regardless, we now have some “family” on the inside. And that is something to give us Hope.
2/13/10-by Isabell James

February 11, 2010

What the H***with the stupid scale??

I used to weight my self when ever I saw the scale and it had dust on it. Dust, pants, shoes, shirts down and make luv to the thing. Lately It had been giving me increased readings everytime I weight my self ( reg weight 185 lbs, BMI under 25...6.1 hght). Last time I weight my self it read 214 lbs. I could not understand!! I gain about 5-10 during the holidays, but it's gone by my birthday in the spring time. No special effords, except not going to ding ding at fam. and other places.
I was still wearing the same pants 32w..but I did notice they were tighter. I thought muscle, because my legs have been very active. Muscle weights more than fat. But 214 from 186lbs. Something was wrong!
I went to a routine Dr.'s office visit. The cutie male nurse John, weight me. I paid not much attention because the doc walk in and one of the first things I said was, "Doc what r u doing to me" You r' tweeking my meds and my weight is gone crazy. He said ur crazy, you r only 4 lbs more than 3 months ago. Well!!
When I got home I weight my self..scale 204...I lost 15 lbs in a week???
I went to the "beyond store" and got me a nice digital one with numbers I can see.
I weight my self today with pants on and shirt: 191LBS...only 5 pounds off my reg weight of 186lbs. I thru the analog one(made in France..that's why I got it...something made in Europe instead of China). The digital one is made..u guessed it..China.
The moral of this story is...if ur scale says crazy things to u.. Don't depair! Don't give up anything yet. Just checked where it was made. If it's not chinese or old USA...throw the old thing away.

Good bye homophobe

Florida Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart will call it quits today, retiring after nine terms representing a heavily Cuban-American district in the Miami area, according to a source briefed on the decision.

Diaz-Balart, whose younger brother, Mario, also holds a congressional seat in Florida, is the 18th Republican to retire this cycle and the second in two days. [...]

The seat -- thanks to the Republican lean of most Cuban Americans -- favors the GOP. [...]

[ Miami-Dade County Democratic Chairman Joe] Garcia is reportedly interested in running again and would give Democrats a genuine pickup opportunity in the 25th if he did decide to make the contest. One complicating factor for Garcia is that he is currently working in an appointed post in the Obama Administration. [...]

There are now 31 total retirements in the House -- 18 on the Republican side and 13 for Democrats.

Groom never seen his bride..when he did he found she had a beard

An Arab ambassador escaped married life by a whisker.

The diplomat had his marriage instantly annulled after he tried to kiss his veiled bride and discovered she had a beard and was cross-eyed.

The unnamed groom had never seen the woman's face because she wore a niqab throughout their entire courtship, according to reports.

He freaked out after they signed the marriage contract in Dubai, canceled the reception and went right to an Islamic Sharia court.

He demanded the union be annulled, that $137,000 he'd spent on wedding gifts and expenses be returned, and the bride be examined for "hormonal deficiencies."

"He was absolutely horrified," said a wedding guest, according to London's Daily Mail.

"The bride had a nice personality, but there was a good reason why she was hiding her looks behind a veil.

"A divorce was inevitable, and the groom went straight to court, leaving his new bride in floods of tears."

The ambassador alleged that that his would-be mother-in-law had shown him pictures of his intended's sister to trick him into marrying the homelier woman.

"Every time the couple met, the bride would do her best not to reveal her entire face," a source close to the case told the local Gulf News this week.

The court granted the annulment but did not approve compensation.

A doctor who examined the jilted bride, who is also a doctor, did not find any medical reason for her facial hair.

The report did not identify the ambassador nor give any further details


Related Topics

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/02/11/2010-02-11_close_shave_for_arab_groom_in_a_hairy_bridetobe_snafu.html#ixzz0fFUAx1cX

February 8, 2010

Intense kiss in the "Pride"

Ben Whishaw and Hugh Dancy share an intense kiss in The Pride, which opens on February 16 off-Broadway at NY's Lucille Lortel Theatre.

The NYT writes: "In a story that flips seamlessly between this century and the last, Mr. Whishaw plays two gay men living in London, both named Oliver, who struggle with the emotional costs of a pre-Stonewall romance (for the Oliver of 1958) and the post-Stonewall psychosexual consequences (the Oliver of 2008). Mr. Dancy plays Philip, Oliver’s equally conflicted love interest in both decades.' Maybe it doesn’t conform to the model of a romance,' Mr. Whishaw said of Mr. Campbell’s script, 'but it does have some of those ingredients, and it definitely has a political edge to it. It’s partly about somebody becoming politicized in a way, or aware that everything you do is in some way a political action.'"

Haiti overflowing with Evangelist Missionaries

The horrific destruction and human suffering in Haiti exert an almost irresistible pull on U.S. Christian missionaries eager to help. But as the jailing last week of 10 missionaries from a small Baptist church in Idaho illustrates, best intentions don’t always translate into good deeds in the chaotic aftermath of the monster earthquake.

The horrific destruction and human suffering in Haiti exert an almost irresistible pull on U.S. Christian missionaries eager to help. But as the jailing last week of 10 missionaries from a small Baptist church in Idaho illustrates, best intentions don’t always translate into good deeds in the chaotic aftermath of the monster earthquake.
Some, evangelical Protestants in particular, are in a pitched battle with voodoo in Haiti, which they view as satanic. As evangelist Pat Robertson put it shortly after the earthquake, Haitians’ adherence to voodoo was a “pact with the devil” that caused the disaster.

Some Protestants also are vying for the souls of Catholic Haitians. The rivalry is in part a reflection of a historical global competition between the major Christian groups. But it is heightened because many Haitian Catholics also observe voodoo traditions

“Most voodoo ceremonies begin with Catholic prayers,” says Dubois of Duke University. “At this point Catholic priests don’t spend much energy trying to stop voodoo.”

That doesn’t sit well with groups like Campus Crusade for Christ, which includes this description of Haiti’s spiritual landscape on its Web site:

“An estimated 75 percent of Catholics are also increasingly involved in voodoo, spiritism and witchcraft. … There is a steady growth of Protestant churches.

February 5, 2010

Useless knowledge

* Did you know...
The average IQ is 100, while 140 is the beginning of genius IQ.

*The world's only museum of Phallology is in Reykjavik, Iceland. Phallology is the the science of the penis.

*Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

*It's rumored that sucking on a copper penny will cause a breathalyzer to read 0.

*28% of us have skinny-dipped. Only 14% with the opposite sex.

*The number 57 on a Heinz ketchup bottle represents the number of varieties of pickle the company once had.

*Cats is based on fourteen poems of T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

*Leonardo Da Vinci never signed or dated his most famous painting, the Mona Lisa.

*Approximately 7.5% of all office documents get lost.

*Lobsters can move up to 25 feet per second underwater.

*The short-term memory capacity for most people is between five and nine items or digits. This is one reason that phone numbers were kept to seven digits for so long.

*Orson Welles is buried in an olive orchard on a ranch owned by his friend(partner), matador Antonio Ordonez in Sevilla,

February 4, 2010

Prison inmates in UK are confortable with diversity. Why am I not surprised!

'Ethnicity, Identity and Social Relations in Prison', carried out by Dr. Coretta Philips of the London School of Economics, explored how prisoners' ethnic identities helped them cope with prison life, and whether such identities informed a social pecking order and the formation of gangs. More specifically, it explored the influence of prison practices on prisoner and group identities.

In January 2009 British broadsheets voiced fears of a flourishing gang culture in UK top-security prisons following an inspection report on Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire. By contrast, the LSE research - comprising ethnographic studies conducted in Kent over eight months each at a young offenders' institution and an adult male prison - found that, superficially at least, there was an acceptance of diversity amongst prisoners, with some welcoming it.

There were no gangs in either institution, and no religious or ethnic pecking order. However, prisoners tended towards same-ethnicity friendships, and formed groups providing physical protection, for sharing, and for access to items such as mobile phones and drugs. Muslim groups - encompassing a range of ethnicities - were both envied by non-Muslims for their potential for seeking concessions on religious grounds, and disparaged for their solidarity.

Although racist undercurrents led to conflict and division, prisoners lived in harmony much of the time. Dr Philips commented: "We found that the younger prisoners tended to be more attached to their neighbourhood than to their ethnicity, with local allegiances giving them a sense of self and of belonging beyond the prison walls. Any negative views of ethnic groups were typically held by those from semi-rural neighbourhoods, whereas those from London neighbourhoods valued the diversity they found on their own patch.

"By contrast, older prisoners tended to see themselves more in paternal and family terms, and it was notable that amongst these prisoners the ability to resolve disputes without violence was valued."

Prisoners from all ethnicities had issues with institutional approaches, although for different reasons. Many minority ethnic , mainly black, prisoners felt they were treated more harshly by staff than white prisoners. By contrast, many white prisoners resented what they saw as the preferential treatment of minority ethnic prisoners who claimed racist treatment. They were themselves, often uncomfortable in encounters with black prisoners and were fearful of being called racist.


This release is based on the findings from 'Ethnicity, Identity and Social Relations in Prison', funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and carried out by Dr. Coretta Philips of the London School of Economics.

'Ethnicity, Identity and Social Relations in Prison' involved ethnographic studies of a young offenders' institution (HMYOI Rochester) and an adult male prison (HMP Maidstone) - selected for their ethnically, nationally and religiously diverse populations from both urban and semi-rural residential areas. Research methods involved interaction and observation of prison life, semi-structured interviews with individuals, and group interviews.



Prada fashion model Nick Snider, named by Forbes in 2008 as the fifth most successful male fashion model, was busted Monday morning in Arkansas for DUI and then attempted to offer police officers a sex bribe.

The Smoking Gun reports:

"According to an Independence County Sheriff's Department report, when deputies approached the intoxicated Snider, he stated, 'I am a very famous model.' As Snider was being transported in a patrol car to the county jail, he 'kept trying to get me to stop the car and let him go,' reported Deputy Brian Luetschwager. 'Mr. Snider stated to me, 'If you stop I'll suck your dick and balls if you let me go.'' Snider...allegedly repeated the oral sex offer after arriving at the local lockup, where the model 'also harassed the booking Jailer with similar sexual comments.' After declining the barter deal, deputies lodged an additional charge against Snider, this one for illegally attempting to influence a public servant. He pleaded not guilty yesterday to the three misdemeanor counts during an appearance in Independence County District Court. Snider is free on $780 bond and is scheduled for a February 17 trial."

Snider is currently booked for New York's fashion week, which begins on February 11.

Colbert and Daily Show skewer DADT hearring

Colbert Report and Daily Show Skewer Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Hearings

“Next thing you know, they’ll be freebasing spinach.” Last night, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart took on the Senate’s hearings regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Taking on Senator John McCain’s flip on the subject of hearing from the top military leaders regarding repeal of DADT, Colbert noted that we had only heard from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and the Commander in Chief by noting that “we haven’t heard a peep from the Commandant of the Coast Guard, the Chief of Naval Operations, Cap’n Crunch, Major Garrett, Sgt. Slaughter, Lt. Dan, ‘Private Practice,’ or Col. Sanders.” He forgot that we had not heard anything from Admiral Akhbar or General Mills. Colbert also went after Senator Chambliss by running old Popeye cartoons. Though, it should be noted that a sailor without a tattoo seems somehow…astereotypical. Meanwhile, Stewart and company went after the policy of letting old people serve in the Senate.
The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is heavily backed by the American people. Polls show roughly three in four Americans support repeal.

Im Tiger Woods: "I can do anyone" man, woman or gulf club

One of the women who reportedly slept with Tiger Woods is set to write a book claiming she saw him having sex with other men.

Sicillian model Loredana Jolie Ferriolo, the thirteenth woman linked to the golfer, has reportedly been trying to sell her story for $1 million.

RadarOnline.com reports that Ferriolo has graphically described Woods' alleged gay encounters.

She said the book would detail "his healthy appetite for arranged sex, threesomes, girls next door, girl-girl, and an answer to all the rumours surrounding Woods' sexuality".

Her representative told the website: "She is in talks with a number of publishing companies regarding a tell-all book deal."

There has been a lurid stream of allegations about Woods' extra-marital affairs since November, when it was reported he had an affair with nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel.

Thirteen women have now alleged they were sexually involved with him, although as yet, Ferriolo is the only one to allege he had sex with men.

Another woman claims to have a sex tape of the disgraced star but porn producers Vivid Entertainment say they cannot ascertain whether it is him.

"The Family" the group responsible for the death penalty on gays in Uganda, holding their prayer meeting. This year is very controvertial

National Prayer Breakfast Draws Controversy

Published: February 3, 2010
For more than 50 years, the National Prayer Breakfast has served as a prime networking event in Washington, bringing together the president, members of Congress, foreign diplomats and thousands of religious, business and military leaders for scrambled eggs and supplication.

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Luke Sharrett/The New York Times
Protesters, on Wednesday at the Capitol Hill house of the Family, say the group is linked to anti-gay legislation in Uganda.

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Usually, the annual event passes with little notice. But this year, an ethics group in Washington has asked President Obama and Congressional leaders to stay away from the breakfast, on Thursday. Religious and gay rights groups have organized competing prayer events in 17 cities, and protesters are picketing in Washington and Boston.

The objections are focused on the sponsor of the breakfast, a secretive evangelical Christian network called The Fellowship, also known as The Family, and accusations that it has ties to legislation in Uganda that calls for the imprisonment and execution of homosexuals.

The Family has always stayed intentionally in the background, according to those who have written about it. In the last year, however, it was identified as the sponsor of a residence on Capitol Hill that has served as a dormitory and meeting place for a cluster of politicians who ran into ethics problems, including Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, and Gov. Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina, both of whom have admitted to adultery.

More recently, it became public that the Family also has close ties to the Ugandan politician who has sponsored the proposed anti-gay legislation.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group, sent a letter this week to the president and Congressional leaders urging them to skip the prayer breakfast. They have also called on C-Span not to televise it this year.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of the ethics group, said: “It is a combination of the intolerance of the organization’s views, and the secrecy surrounding the organization. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to hold their breakfast; of course they should. The question is, Should American officials be lending legitimacy to it, giving their imprimatur by showing up.”

The Family has no identifiable Internet site, no office number and no official spokesman. J. Robert Hunter, a member who has spoken publicly about the group, said that it was unfair to blame the Family for the anti-gay legislation introduced by David Bahati. Mr. Hunter said that about 30 Family members, all Americans, active in Africa recently conveyed their dismay about the legislation to Ugandan politicians, including Mr. Bahati.

Mr. Hunter said the recent controversies had prompted a debate within the group about its lack of transparency. “I and quite a few others are saying we should be much more open,” he said.

Jeff Sharlet, author of “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” (Harper Perennial, 2009) said in a telephone interview, “Here’s an organization that, in the past, has not acknowledged its own existence.”

“It’s not a sinister plot. This is their theological stance,” said Mr. Sharlet, who infiltrated the group to do research for his book. “Their leader, Doug Coe, says that the more invisible you can make your organization, the more influence it will have.”

A White House official said that Mr. Obama, like each president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, planned to attend the breakfast. Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and other cabinet members will also attend. The president will deliver remarks about “the importance of an openness to compromise,” the official said.

The official also said that the president and the State Department had spoken out strongly against the legislation in Uganda.

The breakfast, which usually features a prominent keynote speaker (past ones have included Bono, Mother Teresa and former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain), is only the most visible in several days of gatherings where the Family’s networking takes place in smaller groups. There are separate meetings for African politicians, military leaders, business people and media professionals, to name a few.

Many states also have prayer breakfasts this week, which may appear to be government-sponsored but are also mostly affiliated with the Family.

Liberal members of the clergy and gay rights leaders organized the alternative events in haste this year, calling theirs the American Prayer Hour. The will convene at places like Calvary Baptist Church in Washington; Glendale City Seventh-day Adventist Church in California; the bishop’s chapel of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, in Rochester; and Covenant Community Church in Center Point, Ala.

Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, a gay rights group, said he initiated the prayer-hour idea because many religious Americans who attend the breakfasts have no idea about the connection to the Family and the anti-gay legislation.

“They have symbolically taken the mantle of religion,” Mr. Besen said, “and I think it’s time to take it back. And the American Prayer Hour is a step in that direction.”

February 3, 2010


Ads intended to raise awareness about gays and fight homophobia have sprung up around Long Island public transportation hubs and on buses:

"Long Island Gay and Lesbian youth or LIGALY, paid $37,000 on the ads that are on Nassau County MTA buses and on Long Island Railroad station platforms. 'This is very positive,' LIGALY CEO David Kilmnick told PIX News. 'This is about where we live, where we pay our taxes. This is where we play in terms of basketball and other things and it's a very positive campaign.' So far, there hasn't been a single complaint according to LIGALY CEO David Kilmnick. He says they have been flooded with positive calls which is the purpose."

INTERNET: Depression>Are you blue?

UK study finds that people who replace human contact with online friends can be troubled
By Sharon Gaudin
February 3, 2010 11:24 AM ET

Computerworld - Feeling a bit blue? Maybe you've spent too much time surfing the Web.

In a report released today, a team of psychologists at the University of Leeds in the U.K. said they have found that people who spend significant time online are far more likely to suffer symptoms of depression. When people begin to substitute real-life, face-to-face interaction with online conversations in chat rooms and on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, there's often "a serious impact on [their] mental health," the study found.

"While many of us use the Internet to pay bills, shop and send emails, there is a small subset of the population who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities," said researcher Dr. Catriona Morrison, of the University of Leeds, in a statement. "Our research indicates that excessive Internet use is associated with depression, but what we don't know is which comes first. Are depressed people drawn to the Internet or does the Internet cause depression?"

This study echoes a one published last August that came to a similar conclusion.

That suudy, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that the average online gamer is not a teenager, but is actually a 35-year-old overweight, aggressive, introverted -- and often depressed -- man. The study also found that when children and teenagers become game players, many tend to follow a trend toward physical inactivity and corresponding health problems that extend into adulthood.

The University of Leeds research found that people considered to be "Internet addicts" spent far mire time than average users browsing sexual Web sites, online gaming sites and online communities. And Internet addicts showed a "higher incidence" of moderate to severe depression, though the study did not report on the exact percentage of addicts that showed depressive symptoms.

For this study, researchers interviewed 1,319 people between the ages of 16 and 51 -- 1.2% of whom were found to be Internet addicts. That number is higher than the 0.6% of Brits who are considered to be gambling addicts, the researchers noted.

February 2, 2010

McCain can not even name DADT correctly: "Don't Post Don't tell."

As I listen to the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of Staff express their opinions in regards to not having a DADT. This is one of those moments in history that one person, as a Gay man is proud to witness and be alive to see. I was very much alive when Pres. Clinton and Collin Powell encouraged this law to be enacted.
I hear Sen Udall say that in his state, people are in agreement that a person's personal live is their life. "Live and let live." He aslo quotes the now dead, Senator of Arizona Barry Goldwater saying on this issue: " You don't have to be straight to shoot straight."
The chief of staff says that his opinion on this issue is a personal one. Personal because he has been serving with gays since he has been in the military.
These are just my thoughts as I listen to this hearring. Not intended to print everything that is going on, but my feelings as a Gay man while these events are occurring.
Sen. McCain quotes about 1000 of retired militgary officers that have come out against this policy. But he ignores all the others that are currently serving and are the most affected by this. They are pro fairness and they know they already serve with Gays and Lesbians. McCain being pissed off at the Secretary of Defense because of his opinion. He says,(McCain): " Thanks god there is a Congress that will vote on this." Sen Webb, a democrat puntuates my previous statement that the service man and women are the most affected and they are the ones, one should be the ones they would listen more to; Rather than to retired military.
Sen. Chambliss brings up the old tired argument...of putting two and two together and coming out with, adultery, drunkness and at least Jesus Christ was not included there, because at least he knows that Christ preached love and fairness and taking care of your brother and not who anybody's homosexulaity.
Rep Sen. Susan Collins of Maine accuratedly brings up other countries that allowed service personnel to serve openly. The chief responds that he has talked to those military leaders in those countries and there is nothing negative that has come out of it. He also brings out the Randt survey on "unit coalition" and there was no negative impact.
Even rattie Lieberman says that he supports the repeal of the law.
Sen. McCaskill stumped the chief by asking if we have gays in the militay now. He answers yes, so she says the question is not wether they are honorably serving, but wether they can talk about it. Thefore, How can you get their imput? Since that would make them break the law.
As I listened to the chief of Staff Ad. Mullen and Secretary of defense Gates, I can plainly see that the Secretary is being dragged screaming and kicking into the end of this policy becuase his boss wants it that way and it has been made plain to him. On the other hand the Chief, Ad mullen speaks from his heart and sees it as a matter of fairness among other things.
I think this law will be repeal and Iam proud to see so many members of congress kinda in our side. The oponents did not make a lot of racket today. The argument is so obvious and tired by now. Which is the same arguments pro and against same sex marriage.
I hope fairness and hopnesty prevails. Good luck to all!!! Adam

February 1, 2010

Tueday: News on DAT from military

Forces Pushing Obama to Act on Gays in Military

Published: January 31, 2010
WASHINGTON — President Obama and top Pentagon officials met repeatedly over the past year about repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the law that bans openly gay members of the military.

Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
Lt. Dan Choi, right, with his partner, Matthew Kinsey. Lieutenant Choi, an Arabic linguist and Iraq veteran, faces discharge.

But it was in Oval Office strategy sessions to review court cases challenging the ban — ones that could reach the Supreme Court — that Mr. Obama faced the fact that if he did not change the policy, his administration would be forced to defend publicly the constitutionality of a law he had long opposed.

As a participant recounted one of the sessions, Mr. Obama told Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, that the law was “just wrong.” Mr. Obama told them, the participant said, that he had delayed acting on repeal because the military was stretched in two wars and he did not want another polarizing debate in 2009 to distract from his health care fight.

But in 2010, he told them, this would be a priority. He got no objections.

On Tuesday, in the first Congressional hearing on the issue in 17 years, Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen will unveil the Pentagon’s initial plans for carrying out a repeal, which requires an act of Congress. Gay rights leaders say they expect Mr. Gates to announce in the interim that the Defense Department will not take action to discharge service members whose sexual orientation is revealed by third parties or jilted partners, one of the most onerous aspects of the law. Pentagon officials had no comment.

Gay rights groups are calling the hearing historic even as they question how quickly the administration is prepared to act. But Republicans are already signaling that they are not eager to take up the issue.

“In the middle of two wars and in the middle of this giant security threat,” Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, said Sunday on “Meet the Press” on NBC, “why would we want to get into this debate?”

Still, it is undeniable that a variety of 21st-century forces — a new generation in the military, a change in climate at the top levels of the Pentagon, pressure on the president from a critical interest group, even Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s anticipated Democratic primary battle in New York — converged to begin repeal of a 1993 law that has led to the discharge of more than 13,000 gay men and lesbians, including desperately needed Arabic translators.

As Mr. Gates told Mr. Obama last year, it was no longer a question of if the ban would be repealed, but when, said the meeting participant, who declined to be named to discuss internal White House deliberations.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama regularly pledged to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but in his first year in office he refused to set a timetable and said so little publicly about the issue that gay rights leaders, an important constituency, grew increasingly angry.

Pentagon officials, who were busy withdrawing forces from Iraq and escalating the war in Afghanistan, were pleased that the president was stalling. In April, Mr. Gates told reporters that he and the president wanted to push the issue “down the road a bit.”

In New York, Ms. Gillibrand, a former House member from a conservative upstate district who had just been appointed to the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, was moving to the left on several issues in anticipation of a primary this year.

In June she met with Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and an Arabic linguist and infantry officer in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. Lieutenant Choi is facing a discharge for announcing to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC in March that he was gay.

“This policy asked him to lie every day, and it was antithetical to everything he had learned in the military,” Ms. Gillibrand said in an interview. In July she tried and failed to introduce a bill for an 18-month moratorium on discharges and instead said she asked Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who leads the Armed Services Committee, to hold a hearing on the issue.

Since then, Ms. Gillibrand has frequently told reporters that Harold E. Ford Jr., a former five-term Democratic congressman from Tennessee who is weighing a run for her seat, voted twice in favor of legislation to make same-sex marriage illegal. (Mr. Ford says he has changed his mind.)

Despite Ms. Gillibrand’s efforts, little happened on the issue over the summer, although Mr. Gates asked his legal counsel to determine if the Pentagon could avoid a discharge if a service member’s sexual orientation was revealed by someone else. “If somebody is outed by a third party, does that force us to take action?” he asked in late June.

By September, when any hearings would have been subsumed by the intense deliberations at the White House and Pentagon about escalating the war in Afghanistan, there was a small but telling sign of change: an article in Admiral Mullen’s military journal, Joint Force Quarterly, called “don’t ask, don’t tell” a failure and said no evidence supported the claim that allowing openly gay men and lesbians to serve would undercut unit cohesion.

In December, after the Afghanistan debate was over and Mr. Obama had announced the deployment of 30,000 more troops, Admiral Mullen convened a small group to prepare for what would finally be Mr. Levin’s hearings. There was hardly unanimity.

Although Pentagon officials were of the view that the younger rank and file did not care much about serving with openly gay service members, Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps, had major reservations. But as a practical matter, the military would follow the orders of the commander in chief.

Polls now show that a majority of Americans support openly gay service — a majority did not in 1993 — but there have been no recent broad surveys of the 1.4 million active-duty personnel.

A 2008 census by The Military Times of predominantly Republican and largely older subscribers found that 58 percent opposed to efforts to repeal the policy; in 2006, a poll by Zogby International of 545 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans found that three-quarters were comfortable around gay service members.

At the White House, Mr. Obama decided at a meeting shortly before Christmas to use his State of the Union address to reaffirm his support for repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” A White House official said that Mr. Obama’s call for repeal stayed through six drafts of the speech, despite reports of internal battles over how far he should go.

As Tuesday’s hearing approaches, no one is predicting that the issue will be easy.

Aaron Belkin, the director of the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a research group that focuses on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” said he expected Mr. Gates to announce on Tuesday that the Pentagon would end discharges based on third-party accusations, but also that it would move slowly, which Mr. Belkin opposes.

“By signaling that integration is a complicated, fragile process and slow-rolling it over a number of years, you give obstructionists in the military the chance to stir up trouble in their units,” he said.

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