liveonearth: (Gay_batman_n_robin)
The city with the highest concentration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is no surprise: San Francisco at 6.2%. Next is my new hometown Portland, Oregon, at 5.4%. Austin, Texas is third at 5.3%. The surprise was fourth place. Salt Lake City came in at 4%. I must say, I have known more than a few lesbians who were closeted within their LDS communities. Here in Portland I keep meeting jack-Mormons.

SOURCE
The Week, 4/3/15 issue, factoids taken from The New York Times
page 14 in the "Noted" section
liveonearth: (moon)
I'm happy to read that California colleges are adopting this new standard which says that in order to not be rape, sexual interaction may occur when both partners are conscious and actively consenting. I hope that this new standard is widely adopted and eventually becomes law for the nation, not just a few colleges.

My partner points out that it does not remove the possibility of a "he said she said" standoff in court, and this is true. It requires education, so that everyone knows that it is the standard, and support such that all persons feel empowered to say "no" when they want to.

What this standard does, in my mind at least, is raise the bar ever so slightly for aggressors seeking sex. It removes the defense "She didn't say no" from play. I have been appalled to see that a raped woman cannot get justice unless she gets hurt. If she is not injured, and does not have ejaculate on her, then the court could find "no evidence" that she was raped. Requiring that a woman be injured or that there be witnesses who heard her screaming "no" before you believe that she was raped is a terrible baseline, but in practicality it plays out this way. This is why even in our supposedly open culture most raped women do not seek legal recourse. It's not worth it.

I would like to believe that a good lawyer or judge can elicit signs of the truth from a person even when they are trying to hide it. I would like to think that attentive jurors will instinctively know when someone is lying. Perhaps I am too idealistic about our court system, and it malfunctions more than it functions.

There's nothing direct or simple about the way sexuality plays out in our culture and legal system. Messy is more the word for it. Within a relationship that has been sexual in the past, men do take advantage, and women do submit in order to not be hurt. That submission is not consent. For young men who have no partner, the situation is worse. I have read that many young American men today are angry at women because they cannot get the sex they want. One such young man took up a gun to express his anger. Intense desire is normal, but such anger is dangerous. Modern youth partake of online porn that gives them an unrealistic view of sex and does not educate them on the delicacies of dating or seduction. It is an unhealthy situation, and this standard does nothing to resolve it. Who is going to teach the young people how to talk to each other, to be respectful, and to flirt gracefully? I do not know. I only know that the social structures that used to educate us about proper mating behavior have fallen apart, and nothing has taken their place.

At least here raped women are not stoned to death, though I can comprehend how this would be better for the males in a patriarchal system. She can't complain if she's dead. At least in colleges in California, "yes means yes" is an excellent new dividing line between consent and submission or worse.
liveonearth: (moon)

Kayaking on this class V section will be permitted, and the management team there sounds quite reasonable about letting management evolve along with use. The use of this river section can be revoked if there is any paddling on Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, where boating is banned.

The run will start at Pothole Dome below Tuolumne Meadows and end at Pate Valley. Exact details about put-in, take-out, portage trails and landing/no-landing zone locations will be determined in the near future in consultation with the boating community, tribal interests and National Park Service resource experts. Boaters making the run will be required to carry their boats 3 miles to the put-in, and carry them 8 miles from the take-out at Pate Valley to the White Wolf trailhead.

Carrying your kayak 11 miles is hard. The info does not indicate that this section of river is a series of long slides over domes of granite. I do not know if anyone has been running it lately, but I do remember that Lars Holbek carried his boat most of the way and didn't want to do it again. I have HIKED down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne on a 3 day backpacking trip, and it was spectacular. A backpack trip might be a good way to scout the whitewater before committing in a boat. Though it is possible that those California boaters think nothing of this stuff. Looks hair to me.



SOURCE
http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article/view/articleid/31898/
liveonearth: (dont_be_heavy)
I read today about the California prisoners who've gone without food for 45 days now to protest the practice of keeping people on solitary for a year or more. A judge decided that the prisons can force feed them. This is barbarism. Their rationale is that some of the fasting prisoners have been mislead. I almost expect to hear the Shrubism: "wrongheaded" applied to the prisoners. But it is our practices of incarceration that are wrong.

First of all, it is entirely inhumane to keep any person locked away in solitary for any time at all. We are not designed to be all alone, and left all alone for too long almost any human will loose their mind. A whole year in isolation is enough to make a very sane and functional person completely mad. It is very reasonable for prisoners to protest against this practice with every tool they have.

Second of all, even prisoners should have the right to refuse food if they want to. Everyone should have the right even to end their life if they so choose, especially adults. After all, if a person cannot decide what to do with their life, is it their life at all? This kind of prison practice makes capital punishment look humane.
liveonearth: (chemistry colorful)
A yes vote would require labeling of genetically modified foods and food ingredients. If you don't live in California, you may not know what a big deal this is. The Yes effort is a grassroots effort that I learned about by way of my friends in Cali and from Dr Mercola. There are six major funders of the No campaign; they are the six largest pesticide companies in the world. Fifty countries label GMO foods, but the US lags behind because of our close ties to megabusiness.

The latest news is that the pesticide companies (Monsanto et al) are attacking Dr Mercola personally. Dr Mercola's post details the plethora of nonsense they have propagated in order to confuse voters.

Unfortunately, when people are uncertain they tend to vote NO, but what we really need is a YES vote on this one. So tell your friends in California. It will do them no harm to require GMO products to be labelled, and having the ability to choose which foods they consume would do good.
liveonearth: (pyramid eye)
Did you know that they have genetically engineered corn to produce insecticides? Yes. You can't wash THAT off.

Here's a list of the Food and Beverage Companies which sell organic/natural products while simultaneously giving mountains of cash to the Monsanto-driven campaign opposing GMO labeling in California (Prop 37):

Kellogg’s (Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms)
General Mills (Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar)
Dean Foods (Horizon, Silk, White Wave)
Smucker’s (R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic)
Coca-Cola (Honest Tea, Odwalla)
Safeway (“O” Organics)
Kraft (Boca Burgers and Back to Nature)
Con-Agra (Orville Redenbacher’s Organic, Hunt’s Organic, Lightlife)
PepsiCo (Naked Juice, Tostito’s Organic, Tropicana Organic)

Let's bust 'em one where it counts: in the pocket book. The only trustworthy organic product is the one you make in your kitchen from known whole food sources. OCA and Mercola are both calling for this boycott, and I for one am going to participate. It's a good season to eat from the garden anyway. My only concern is what I'm going to mix with my bourbon. =-]
liveonearth: (Default)


More Photos here:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/occupy-los-angeles-protesters-leave-tons-of-trash

Of course the point can be made that the devastation caused by Wall Street is just as ugly...but two wrongs does not make a right. Those of us who wish to limit the power of corporations to run our government can do better than to trash our inner cities. I don't know how it went in other cities, but here in Portland the settlements were predictably infiltrated with all those who had nothing better to do, ie: the homeless. And because this town is as soft and generous as it is to all who are down on their luck, the free food, medicine and all things good just flowed into the area. But the downside of letting the homeless, drug-addicted and mentally ill occupy your occupation is large, and contributes to messes like this. I'm not passing judgment. Just hoping for more classy activism from the grassroots who are not represented by the tea party.
liveonearth: (Default)
About the bill they just passed:
http://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Resources/VetoAB499.aspx
The only way to stop it now is if the Governor Jerry Brown vetoes it. I'm not sure I want him to though. The link above is in favor of "parent rights" to control their children. In the battle between parental control and corporate control, I guess I vote for parents, but they can be wrong too. I'd like to see our teens getting well educated about the question, that's the real solution.
liveonearth: (Default)
Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, that is. It is resistant to nearly all antibiotics, and according to the Guardian killed 25,000 people in Europe last year. CRKP has been reported in 36 US states so far and is sure to be present in others. LA County longterm care facilities may have lots of it. Antibiotic resistant micro-organisms are best beaten using the naturopathic principle of strengthening the innate healing ability of the organism: there's no bug that can beat a healthy immune system!

SOURCE
http://current.com/news/93141801_antibiotic-superbugs-crkp-mrsa.htm?xid=PTNiGoog
notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
http://www.npr.org/2011/01/21/133092677/calif-plants-put-a-wrinkle-in-climate-change-plans

A new study shows that instead of heading for higher elevations as the climate warms up, some plants and insects are shifting their ranges downhill, toward water.

notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
I've long been in favor as hydropower as one of many energy sources to harness in our pursuit of independent from fossil fuels. But I wasn't sure where to draw the line between huge dams like the ones on the Colombia river here in the Northwest, and mini-dams like the one used at Otter Bar to keep the batteries charged. This article from World Watch helps to clarify how big dams are destructive and unsustainable.
thoughts )
liveonearth: (Default)
Arizona's burning HOT already this year.

(this pic from another fire.....flames are over 100 ft in AZ)

Did you hear about the fire in Santa Barbara, California--that was started by Mexican pot growers? This is actually another good reason to legalize pot. It we weren't so stuffy about weed, nobody would be able to get rich growing a plant in our own soil and selling it to us. And then accidentally burning down the forest, in a stoner moment in the camp kitchen.
liveonearth: (Default)
Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System
As cash-starved states slash mental health programs in communities and schools, they are increasingly relying on the juvenile corrections system to handle a generation of young offenders with psychiatric disorders. About two-thirds of the nation’s juvenile inmates — who numbered 92,854 in 2006, down from 107,000 in 1999 — have at least one mental illness, according to surveys of youth prisons, and are more in need of therapy than punishment.
notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
--a swine flu
--not known where it began
--currently all over Mexico (including near the US border) and inside the US (CA)
--known outbreak began in mid March, this is very late in flu season
--they're calling it "entirely new". Is that H1N5? Or??
--affects young adults the most (possibly because older adults are more likely to have been exposed to a previous similar flu and to be immune)
--schools and events in Mexico City are closed
--in Mexico so far: 60 deaths and 1000 infected
--authorities are working to determine what kind of flu it is and come up with a vaccine
--athorities all over the world are working furiously on their prevention plans
--a "cure" is said to be possible if the flu is detected and treated early

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8017000/8017958.stm
liveonearth: (Default)

The image above represents January's rates, and the big news is that three more states have passed 10% employment between January and February.

States with jobless rates over 10% in February, according to the Labor Department:
--Michigan 12%
--South Carolina 11%
--Oregon 10.8% (new on list)
--North Carolina 10.7% (new on list, record high for state)
--California 10.5%
--Rhode Island 10.5% (record high for state)
--Nevada 10.5% (new on list)
--what state do you think will join this list next?
--what state do you think will be last to join?
more )
liveonearth: (Default)

I learned of his passing from a friend on facebook. He was airlifted out of Grand Canyon last October with acute abdominal pain, and died last Friday night (3/13/09) of pancreatic cancer. Lars was a California boater, a formidable athlete, and a down-to-earth nice guy. Handsome, too. I met him only in passing, but among river runners he is a Legend. He is the only person I know of that has run he Grand Canyon of the Toulumne in Yosemite National Park, and also I believe he paddled the gnarly drops where the Merced River exits Yosemite valley and cascades through a morraine. Lars Holbeck took paddling to a level that few others could imagine, much less accomplish.
more )

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