AMHERST, Mass. — WHILE many existing oil and gas reserves in other parts of the world are facing steep decline, the Arctic is thought to possess vast untapped reservoirs. Approximately 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil deposits and 30 percent of its natural gas reserves are above the Arctic Circle, according to the United States Geological Survey. Eager to tap into this largess, Russia and its Arctic neighbors — Canada, Norway, the United States, Iceland and Denmark (by virtue of its authority over Greenland) — have encouraged energy companies to drill in the region.
For Russia, which recently seized a Greenpeace ship and is prosecuting 30 of the group’s activists for attempting to scale an oil platform, the temptation to exploit the Arctic Ocean is especially powerful. Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on exports of oil and gas, and the government relies on these sales for much of its income. Until recently, the Russians could draw on reservoirs in western Siberia to satisfy their needs, but now, with many of these fields in decline, they are counting on Arctic supplies to maintain current production levels. “Our first and main task is to turn the Arctic into Russia’s resource base of the 21st century,” Dmitri A. Medvedev, then the president, declared in 2008.
The Civil War began in South Carolina, as we are reminded by the Confederate marching son the Bonnie Blue Flag:
First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand
Then came Alabama and took her by the hand
Next, quickly Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida
All raised on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
The song’s writer got the order wrong after South Carolina, which seceded December 20, 1860 and was followed by Mississippi, but that did nothing to detract from the song’s popularity. Southerners were able to get behind the spirit of the thing and accuracy could get behind poetry for the sake of promoting southern rights, just as today it is our fact-based world which must step aside.
As the song’s chorus says,
For Southern rights, hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
Southern rights are still marching in South Carolina a century and a half later where tea party senator Lee Bright preaches, “If the Tenth Amendment won’t protect the Second, we might have to use the Second to protect the Tenth.” He has also wisecracked, “If at first you don’t secede, try again.” The bill he filed for South Carolina to study the adoption of its own currency would be only the beginning.
According to Bright, Obama wants to be king, and and confusing the Bible for the Constitution, Bright says there is “No king but Jesus.” Apparently, being legally - and constitutionally - elected president against the wishes of the political minority is not only an affront to God but illegal in some bizarre fashion. The fact that Obama was elected twice has driven the last coherent thought from their brains.
As I have pointed out here before, there are more than two amendments in the Bill of Rights and there is more to the Constitution than these two amendments, not that you would know it from Republican discourse on the subject. The fact that you don’t like how things turned out doesn’t mean you get to throw the system out. Bright’s histrionic “I want peace. Listen, peace is sweet, but it’s not so sweet for the chains of slavery,” is a cry for anarchy.
“It was almost like women weren’t very important,” she recalled. “There was a bias in sexuality research.”
If Dr. Ruth is sex medicine’s gossipy granny, then Millheiser is its perky cheer squad captain.
A gynecologist, Millheiser specializes in treating women with what is broadly known as female sexual dysfunction - everyone from postmenopausal women for whom sex is undesirable to cancer survivors whose sex lives have been complicated by medications, radiation and other facets of treatment.
Traditionally, sexual issues in women were often chalked up to a psychological problem. When Viagra hit the market in 1998, offering a solution to erectile dysfunction in men, it illuminated the lack of attention given to sexual dysfunction in women and prompted drug companies to begin searching for Viagra’s feminine counterpart.
One young woman, who got in a heated argument with a men’s rights activist at a protest in Canada, was subsequently dubbed as “little red frothing fornication mouth” by AVFM and had all of her private contact information published by MRAs. She received hundreds of elaborate threats of violence. One anonymous commenter invited her to “enjoy being anally defiled.” Another gloated: “I would actually cum cutting that bitch’s throat.” Another outspoken feminist told me personally that she had to get the FBI and the state police involved when AVFM targeted her. Authorities found the threats she received so credible that they advised her to leave home for two weeks, taking her husband and young child with her. Increasingly, men’s rights activists target women offline as well. Last month, members of the organization Men’s Rights Edmonton hung large “wanted”-style posters of a professor all over the University of Alberta campus, calling her a bigot. Her crime? She was involved in the university’s anti-rape campaign.
I’ve got a tiny taste of this last month. When word spread that I was going to be featured on 20/20, A Voice For Men published a hit piece, calling me a bad feminist (for criticizing Naomi Wolf), accusing me of demonizing male sexuality, and simultaneously suggesting that my bisexuality means I haven’t slept with enough men to have valid opinions about them, that I’m too fat and ugly to get a man to sleep with me, and that I’m a miserable slut who needs to manipulate other women into validating me. The comments thread features someone with the pseudonym Theseus saying “I would love to see a you tube [sic] vid with a heckler in the audience shouting out ‘Hey uh Jackie, I think a dude raping you is the least of your fucking problems’!!” Another commenter promised to do just that. As a survivor of sexual assault, threats like this shake me almost physically. While they never silence me, they always unsettle and exhaust me.
I categorized this article under the heading: health. Why? because I think lying especially institutionalized lying is injurious. For the individual and the group, lies fester and rot creating illness, dysfunction and death to the body and the soul.
What is so disheartening is the fact that lying is not necessary. There is no shame in truth.
The Churches stance on homosexuality (and sex) promotes and exacerbates the rot.
Tales of gays in the Vatican have been told for more than a thousand years. Pope John XII, who reigned from 955 to 964, was accused of having sex with men and boys and turning the papal palace “into a whorehouse.” While trying to persuade a cobbler’s apprentice to have sex with him, Pope Boniface VIII, who reigned from 1294 to 1303, was said to have assured the boy that two men having sex was “no more a sin than rubbing your hands together.” After Paul II, who reigned from 1464 to 1471, died of a heart attack—while in flagrante delicto with a page, according to one rumor—he was succeeded by Sixtus IV, who kept a nephew as his lover (and made the nephew a cardinal at age 17). Some such stories are better substantiated than others. Even while their reliability is questionable, they demonstrate that playing the gay card (even if you yourself are gay) is an ancient Curial tactic. “There are closeted gay priests who are vipers,” observes the theologian Mark D. Jordan, the author of The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism. “They are really poisonous people, and they work out their own inner demonology by getting into positions in power and exercising it” against other gay men, women, and anyone whom they perceive to be a threat. “Alongside that are suffering priests who seem sincere all the way down, who are trying to be faithful to God, and also to take care of people and change the institution. They are the ones who are always forgotten, and read out of the story from both sides.”
Self-centeredness can breed a sense of entitlement. “A certain part of the clergy feels that no one will care what they do if they are discreet,” says Marco Politi, a prominent Italian journalist and longtime Vatican correspondent, and the author of several books about the papacy and the Church. In 2000, Politi published a book-length interview with an anonymous gay priest, entitled La Confessione, republished in 2006 as Io, Prete Gay (I, Gay Priest). “Rumors are O.K., but not scandal,” Politi observes.
“This is almost an aspect of the Catholic religion itself,” Colm Tóibín has written in an essay on gays and Catholicism, “this business of knowing and not knowing something all at the same time, keeping an illusion separate from the truth.”
For a long time, gay priests have made for convenient scapegoats and handy pawns in Church power games. All of them, whether actively or passively, have helped create these roles for themselves, and they can hardly imagine a different reality—unless they were to emerge from the closet and get thrown out of the priesthood. One monk told me, “A lot of us will not condemn. But not speak out. We’re in a system that controls us. The longer you’re in it, the more it controls, the more you assume the clerical position.” They keep hope small, or snuff it entirely. They believe that nothing and no one could make the Church safe for them. Might this change? “Not in my lifetime,” they all say.
This last bolded sentence makes me especially sad. If a person isn’t safe in The Church, why does the The Church exist?
I became a cynic of The Church while a 6th grade student in Catholic School. My cynicism, at times, as turned to hatred, indignation, sadness aimed at all religion and ideologies. I’ve never turned to athiesm. Somewhere, deep down, I’d like to believe The Church is what I was taught it was as a child. A place where a compassionate Jesus gently tends his flock. A place where everyone is at home. A place of refuge.
I’ve learned to content myself with a Higher Power and the knowledge that most human beings, though flawed, are not inherently evil.
Recently, on a humanitarian mission, I had the pleasure of running into several old and new GBV friends. Some of us got to talking at dinner one night about the way that people who don’t work in the GBV field sometimes talk about our work. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear “GBV is so sexy right now”.
Some people say this dismissively and often with a sneer, which implies that, it’s a made-up problem. It’s true that you hear a lot more about GBV nowadays and that the GBV field’s hard work and advocacy has paid off finally and now aid programs are being required to try to work GBV into their projects. I also know that the people that say this are not all cynical and opposed to our work. I think that what some of the good-hearted people might be trying to say is that talking about Gender-based Violence is “trendy” or on the forefront of donors minds and suddenly seems ‘fashionable”. It’s the hottest things - like “micro-credit” programming was in the late 90s.
But it’s deeply painful and upsetting to hear otherwise smart people associate the word “sexy” with “Gender-Based Violence”. Perhaps because we use an acronym to discuss what we do conceals what it actually means to do Gender-Based Violence programming. We use so much jargon in our business- GBV this, VAW, M&E, SOPs, the acronym soup goes on and on and it is sometimes easy to forget what we are actually talking about. The topic itself doesn’t lend itself to easy discussions - so we invent a language to refer to it without having to say what it really is.
More: GBV Is Not Sexy
Today’s Infectious punk pop ditty is performed by Radkey from St Joseph, MO. The song video comes after their UK tour.
Radkey - Start Freaking Out
2013 Little Man Records
Video shot and edited by William Rees - email@example.com
Additional camera work - Chris Warsop
Cliff Illig stood toward the back of the press room Saturday night with a Bud Light in hand, sporting a grin and a brand-new scarf draped around his shoulders, denoting that the team he owns, Sporting Kansas City, owns Major League Soccer’s biggest prize.
The grin on Illig’s face was probably wide enough for Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes to notice, who began his postgame comments to the media with a tribute to the wealthy men who saved MLS’s moribund franchise.
“It’s incredible when you have owners that have a complete connection to your team and are involved,” Vermes told a packed room of media from across the United States and beyond.
The turnaround of the Sporting Kansas City franchise is well-documented, from the day that former owner Lamar Hunt sold the team to a group of Cerner executives that included Illig and got sent out of Arrowhead Stadium, to the day that the team briefly faced the prospect of playing home games at a Cass County high school, to Saturday night when it won the Major League Soccer Cup.
House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington.
The deal expected to be sealed this week on Capitol Hill would not significantly reduce the debt, now $17.3 trillion and rising. It would not close corporate tax loopholes or reform expensive health-care and retirement programs. It would not even fully replace sharp spending cuts known as the sequester, the negotiators’ primary target.
After more than two years of constant crisis, the emerging agreement amounts to little more than a cease-fire. Republicans and Democrats are abandoning their debt-reduction goals, laying down arms and, for the moment, trying to avoid another economy-damaging standoff.
Something that hasn’t improved the past two decades.
In 1993 - the year Avana died - the black infant death rate was about three times that of whites. Even today, it’s triple the rate for whites, though both rates have gone down.
“It’s still high and among the highest. It’s still happening, and it’s very frustrating,” said Jerissa Roundtree’s mother, 79-year-old Eddis Roundtree, who helped start the Black Nurses Association, which has worked to combat high infant death rates.
“When you think that it’s going down and you’re making headway, you find it goes back up again. We’ve seen change in cancer, diabetes, a lot of things we’ve focused on, but not infant mortality in our community.”