From Philly IMC:
Gov. Rendell is going to apply for funding for ABSTINENCE ONLY Education for Pennsylvania for the first time in four years??!?!?!
Join ACT UP this Thurs. August 28th at 10:00am in front of the Bellevue 200 s Broad St. to tell Rendell – Don’t be blinded by the Abstinence money to the bad science.
Four years ago, Rendell joined California in rejecting harmful federal abstinence funding. Next week, Rendell will formally make the application for abstinence money again. We can still prevent Rendell from making this embarrassing and harmful plea for funds, but he needs to hear that Philadelphia is outraged.
Evidence proves that comprehensive sexual education prevents the spread of HIV and encourages people that are having sex to have SAFER sex. Abstinence Only education promotes shame. It has also been disproved as a method of preventing the spread of HIV. Shame on Rendell.
His bad policy decison will effect the future of sexual education in Philadelphia, and we can stop it. Join us this Thursday at 10am at the Bellevue Hotel (where Rendell keeps a Philly office) to tell him to not be blinded by money to the bad science.
For more information, contact Sam Sitrin from ACT UP Philly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.870.7741.
For more about the decision: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/news_breaking/27505059.html
For the IMC article: http://www.phillyimc.org/en/node/73029
For ACT UP Philly: http://www.critpath.org/actup/
For Governor Rendell’s contact info: http://www.governor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=2998&&level=1&css=L1&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true
Message from Congressman Scott Petri:
The state can help make the purchase of a new fuel-efficient vehicle more affordable with a $500 rebate to owners of eligible hybrid vehicles.
What is a Hybrid Vehicle?
A hybrid is defined by state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as a motor vehicle that draws its propulsion energy from an onboard source of stored energy that is both:
- An internal combustion engine using combustible fuel.
- A rechargeable energy storage system.
While flexible fuel and diesel fuel vehicles are not eligible, DEP maintains a list of specific vehicles whose owners can collect the rebate. These vehicles must be classified as a hybrid, and must have a combined Environmental Protection Agency city and highway MPG (miles per gallon) rating of more than 55 MPG. Additionally, the vehicle cannot emit more than seven tons per year of carbon dioxide.
About the Rebate
Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is no longer available. Applicants must have purchased or leased the vehicle new and include a completed rebate form, a copy of a valid Pennsylvania vehicle registration, a copy of the invoice and proof of purchase. Rebate checks typically take between 10 and 14 weeks to process.
For a full listing of eligible vehicles or for more information about the rebate application process, visit: http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/dep/site/default.asp and http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/enintech/cwp/view.asp?a=1412&Q=502288&PM=1
Nicholas Kristof wrote a thoughtful op-ed the other day about animal rights and an upcoming animal-rights related referendum on the presidential ballot in CA. He says:
In a world in which animal rights are gaining ground, barbecue season should make me feel guilty. My hunch is that in a century or two, our descendants will look back on our factory farms with uncomprehending revulsion. But in the meantime, I love a good burger.
This comes up because the most important election this November that you’ve never heard of is a referendum on animal rights in California, the vanguard state for social movements. Proposition 2 would ban factory farms from raising chickens, calves or hogs in small pens or cages (full text).
I found the article interesting because although Kristof recognizes the intelligence, autonomy, and right to humane treatment of non-human animals, he simply can’t bring himself to stop eating them. This made me skeptical of Kristof’s praise for Proposition 2, and after some research I realized that (surprise) it’s really just a proposal to make the cages bigger.
How could this possibly be a “victory” for animal rights? Sigh…
Interesting essay from friend of Batten, Lee Hall:
Animal rights activists. Everybody’s heard about them. They talk a lot about what they don’t want. But what do they want? What kind of rights, exactly, does an animal-rights activist have in mind?
Let’s start by thinking about why we use the term “rights” at all. Our law treats everything and everyone on Earth as a person or as a piece of property. To our law, there’s no meaningful category in between those two classifications — or beyond them. There’s property here, persons there. Things, and owners.
Not only are water and seeds and trees and beaches for sale, but conscious beings too are classified as property, available to be owned by persons. Persons may be those ubiquitous apes known as human beings, or, in certain circumstances, persons might be the businesses concocted by these same ubiquitous apes…
Read the rest here.
In 2002, I joined the Indiana National Guard. When I joined, I was told I would only be in combat if there were troops occupying the United States. I signed up to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane. I had no conception I would be deployed to fight on foreign shores.
But in 2005, I was deployed with my unit to Camp Anaconda near Balad, Iraq. My job in Iraq was in military intelligence. Through this job I had access to a lot of information about what was happening on the ground in Iraq. I realised innocent people were being killed unjustly and I tried to quit the military while in Iraq. My commander told me I was stressed out and needed R&R, because I was doing a job I was not trained to do. I went home on leave and said I was not coming back. I was told desertion is punishable by death. I was Absent Without Leave (AWOL) in America for eight months. I searched the internet and found out about US war resisters in Canada. I arrived in Toronto two weeks later.
I should have been in New Orleans after Katrina, not in Iraq. I believe the Iraq War is illegal and morally wrong. I believe I have a duty to refuse to take part in a war not sanctioned by the United Nations, started on the basis of lies.
I have been in Toronto since August 2006. In my time here, I have been self-sufficient and I have made many friends. I have built a life here. Last week I was in Ottawa, when the House of Commons passed a motion saying that the Canadian government should make it possible for conscientious objectors to get permanent residence in Canada. The motion also said that all deportation proceedings against us should be stopped.
But I may be deported anyway. On 21 May I was told that my last chance to stay in Canada had failed, and I must leave by 12 June (since extended to 10 July). I know that if I return to the US I will face imprisonment and possibly a criminal record. I don’t think it is fair that I should be returned to the United States to face unjust punishment for doing what I felt morally obligated to do. I am hoping that Canada, which stayed out of the Iraq War for reasons similar to my own, will reverse the deportation order and let me stay, as parliament has urged. There are several dozen other war resisters like me in Canada now. They all deserve to stay here and get on with their lives. I hope the new American President will end the Iraq War and bring the troops home. But until that happens, I believe it is every soldier’s right to refuse to take part in that war, if that is what his or her conscience says they must do (via BBC).
This is one of several disturbing stories from Post-Katrina New Orleans… stories that you probably won’t hear on the news.
Police kill man in standoff over FEMA trailer
A man fatally shot by police after a 10-hour standoff Wednesday had suffered with mental illness for much of his life, and it worsened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a family member said. Eric Minshew, 49, ordered Federal Emergency Management Agency workers to leave his trailer when they arrived for an inspection Tuesday afternoon, according to accounts from police.Later, police said he fired at them several times and was fatally shot after pointing a handgun at officers who tried to arrest him. No officers were injured. Rosemarie Brocato, who lives about a block away from the house, said she had told police, “He’s sick. Please don’t shoot him. He needs help…”
There’s a lot of fucked up things about this, but one of the most disturbing is the claim (cited later in the article) that the incident had nothing to do with Katrina. That’s bullshit, and it’s really hurtful to hear that the basic health needs of people living in FEMA trailers are still being ignored (NPR has some thoughts on mental health needs here).
While perusing the blog stats, I came across something quite disturbing. It seems as though someone found our blog after searching “animal fuck woman.”
I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. The idea of someone searching for that and winding up here is pretty hilarious. But why oh why oh why does someone want to see an animal fucking a woman? wtf.
How Green Is the College? Time the Showers.
The New York Times has a great article about a new eco-house at Oberlin called SEED (Student Experiment in Ecological Design). There are some pretty interesting ideas mentioned, including shower timers (and water-saving competitions); re-using water in toilets; study parties; and thermostat monitoring. Check out the video on SEED here!