Oklahoma lawmakers are appalled that Satanists would try to erect a monument in their state capitol, but their decision to include a monument to the Ten Commandments of the Christian Bible’s Old Testament may have placed the state on shaky legal ground…
This video is from late 2012, so you may already have seen it, but it’s one I think is worth keeping in circulation – and worth watching more than once.
It features Jennifer Livingston – a reporter for WKBT news – who received a letter from a viewer trying to shame her over her appearance – specifically, her body size. Jennifer’s response is powerful and inspiring. and I wish I’d had the chance to hear a message like her’s when I was growing up and facing my own struggles with bullies and body size.
One thing I’ve been glad to see in recent years is the growing understanding that weight is affected by a lot more than just how much someone eats and how much they exercise. There are complex biological interactions involved that go well beyond “calories in, calories out” and where one person may be able to eat extensively and rarely change weight, there are those who may not eat very much but gain weight nonetheless.
Hopefully, as more studies are done and more information on these factors that affect weight gain and retention comes to light, people will begin to better understand that – like sexual orientation or gender identity – weight is neither a “choice” nor a “lifestyle.”
Every news cycle seems to bring another revelation of the corrupting influence of dark money on American politics. In just the past few weeks, reporters and watchdog groups have exposed a network of state-level advocacy groups posing as think-tanks,…
The Republicans have always been known for trying to suppress as much of the vote as they can. One of their current favorite tactics is the use of Voter ID laws. They justify the use of these laws by claiming they will help prevent voter fraud – not that voter fraud is that much of a problem to begin with.
In some states – including here in Kansas – these laws require someone to prove that they are a citizen in order to register to vote. This is accomplished by presenting either a valid drivers license or state ID. People who are already registered are supposed to be grandfathered in, but apparently there has been a great deal of confusion at the voting offices and many people are currently being left in limbo. It’s also unclear what happens if someone who is already registered to vote needs to get their drivers license updated, needs to get a new license, changes their name or has to replace an expired license. Potentially, any of those activities could cause the persons voting registration to become invalid because they have not presented this new ID to the voting offices. As a result, Kansas has – effectively – a 2-tier voting system. Federal law prohibits the state from requiring additional information for registration using the federal form, but states are allowed to have their own registration forms as well so, people who have not qualified with their photo ID can still be registered under the federal system and able to vote for federal offices, but they cannot vote for state level offices.
Texas is sitting up its own system, and it seems designed to disenfranchise women. The note below – from watchdog.net – explains in more detail
The GOP has a plan to stop Wendy Davis: blatant voter suppression.
Women don’t like having their bodies policed, and are supporting Davis like no Democrat has been backed before. But Republicans aren’t fighting back on the issues — they’ve pushed through a Voter ID law that blocks the votes of countless Texas women.
Starting this November, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name instead of IDs like a birth certificate. That’s not a problem for single or married men — but it leaves a third of Texas women scrambling in a state with just 81 DMVs in its 254 counties.
The only way the GOP can keep Texas is by rigging the game. Women have the power to turn this state blue for the first time in two decades, but we need to help secure their rights first. Please, join us in calling on the Texas legislature to get rid of this unconstitutional Voter ID law and stop trying to strip women of their votes.
PETITION TO TEXAS LEGISLATURE: Stop rigging the gubernatorial election by stripping women of their voting rights — get rid of the unconstitutional, anti-women Voter ID law now.
Click here to sign — it just takes a second.
– The folks at Watchdog.net
Republicans know they can’t win honestly – so they’re always trying to find new tricks to stay in power. Hopefully, these laws will be challenged in court and found to be unconstitutional, so there’s no guarantee of that.
Via Think Progress:
This past summer, doctors were encouraged by news that two HIV-positive men who had received aggressive anti-HIV drug therapy while undergoing bone marrow stem cell transplants were apparently free of the virus despite discontinuing their medications. But now, Boston researchers have revealed that HIV is rebounding in both patients — a blow to many who had hoped that their cases might provide clues to a possible cure.
“We felt it would be scientifically unfair to not let people know how things are going, especially for potential patients,” said lead case researcher Dr. Timothy Henrich. Both men have returned to taking medications to keep the virus in check.
Three years ago, the two men were receiving chemotherapy that killed off their cancer-ridden bone marrow while also continuing a drug regimen to fight their HIV. They continued taking the powerful drugs even while receiving bone marrow stem cell transplants to replace their cancerous cells with healthy tissue.
Remarkably, the men showed no signs of HIV after the transplant — even after they stopped taking medication for the virus in the summer. That led researchers to speculate that aggressive applications of the HIV drugs weakened the virus to the point that it could no longer transmit or replicate in the patients’ new, healthy bone marrow.
Now that the virus has re-emerged in the patients, Henrich and his team say the it can burrow deep into human tissue.
“This suggests that we need to look deeper, or we need to be looking in other tissues . . . the liver, gut, and brain,” said Henrich. “These are all potential sources, but it’s very difficult to obtain tissue from these places so we don’t do that routinely.”
Still, scientists say that the methods outlined in the men’s cases — including replacing infected bone marrow and early, aggressive drug treatment of HIV — are among the most promising avenues for an eventual cure.
In October, doctors announced that a baby born with HIV that she contracted from her mother in utero showed no signs of the virus even though she’d stopped receiving medication over a year and a half ago. The baby’s doctors administered an unusually aggressive course of anti-HIV drugs to her almost immediately after birth in an effort prevent the virus from spreading further.