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“Girl Crush” Has Lesbian Undertones?

May 18, 2015

So country music stations are showing some homophobia over a new song by Little Big Town. It’s kind of sad, really. What does it really matter if the song does have a “gay agenda” or something similar? The song could be about a woman who really is looking at herself and finding herself lacking and wanting to be someone else. It is definitely a song about female identity, and apparently when that doesn’t conform to strict societal dictates, slam it!

While the BBMAs crowd seemed to thoroughly appreciate the performance on Sunday, the single “Girl Crush” has incited some controversy from critics saying the lyrics had gay undertones. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the song was pulled by several country music stations due to its “lesbian themes” and “gay agenda.”

Is Eating Organic Really Better For You? Pesticides In Children’s Urine But Eating Organic For Two Weeks Removes Them

May 15, 2015

Think eating organic is expensive? How much does it cost to remove multiple chemical residues from your kids’ bodies? This family ate organic food for two weeks, and the results were astounding. Eating organic means the kids’ had virtually no more chemical residue in their urine samples. Conventional food = tons of chemicals found in kids’ bodies.

Supermarket Organic Brands And Their Suppliers Violate Federal Standards: Cornucopia Institute Sues Brands For Fraud

May 6, 2015

Most of us like to eat organic foods, even if they cost more, assuming that the label “organic” means specific things, for instance, that farm workers won’t be exposed to insane amounts of pesticides, that animals won’t be fed antibiotics instead of food to fatten them up, that milk cows and layer hens will have access to being outdoors, AND that these standards will be enforced. A new report by the Cornucopia Institute details exactly how groups like Horizon (White Wave f00ds) and other agrigiants claiming  organic labels are failing and how the USDA knows this but does nothing to stop it.

In the case of the Horizon dairy in Paul, Idaho (WhiteWave), instead of the USDA sending its own agents to investigate complaints against the operation, the USDA sent in the same certifier that initially approved the operation to investigate alleged improprieties.

“This is just unconscionable,” said Kastel. “In this instance, the certifier, Quality Assurance International, has been implicated in a number of other improprieties. Our thorough investigation and legal complaint indicated this dairy, with no pasture, never should have been certified in the first place. The job of the USDA is to oversee the certifiers and ensure that they are doing their job. It is quite possible that, in this case, there could have been a conspiracy and/or negligence that the certifier was responsible for.”

Not only are the supposed organic purveyors claiming to be organic but failing to follow federal protocols, these organic purveyors are knowingly breaking the law about labeling food organic that is not produced according to organic standards and making a killing.

In what has been called one of the largest fraud investigations in the history of the organic industry, The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group, announced filing formal legal complaints against 14 industrial livestock operations producing milk, meat and eggs being marketed, allegedly illegally, as organic.

After years of inaction by the USDA, Cornucopia contracted for aerial photography in nine states, from West Texas to New York and Maryland, over the past eight months. What they found confirmed earlier site visits: a systemic pattern of corporate agribusiness interests operating industrial-scale confinement livestock facilities providing no legitimate grazing, or even access to the outdoors, as required by federal organic regulations.

A photo gallery of the apparent abuses by the giant certified organic operations in question can be found at http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-factory-farm-investigation.

“The federal organic regulations make it very clear that all organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and that ruminants, like dairy cows, must have access to pasture,” said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. “The vast majority of these massive, industrial-scale facilities, some managing 10,000-20,000 head of cattle, and upwards of 1 million laying hens, had 100% of their animals confined in giant buildings or feedlots.”

These companies are committing fraud and have been getting away with it. Shamrock Dairy, which supplies milk to retail giants like Costco and Wal-Mart has been found guilty of selling milk under the organic label while violating organic animal management standards, and Shamrock has continued to do so without oversight:

Cornucopia filed their first legal complaints against these industrial operations, with varying degrees of success, beginning in 2004. As a result, the largest dairy supplying the Horizon label (now controlled by WhiteWave Foods) was decertified, and the USDA placed sanctions against Aurora Dairy (producing private-label organic milk for Walmart,Costco, Target and various supermarket chains). Both WhiteWave and Aurora are still being investigated by the USDA for improprieties.

But the wheels of justice, according to Cornucopia, are now turning slowly or not at all. One example is Arizona-based Shamrock, which operates a vertically-integrated dairy in the desert outside of Phoenix that jointly manages over 16,000 organic and conventional cows. The USDA eventually confirmed the basis of a complaint filed in 2008 by the nonprofit public interest group, finding the dairy operating illegally — but not until 2011, three years after the complaint was filed. Now, more than six years later, Shamrock still has a pending appeal and is still selling milk in the Southwest undercutting ethical farmers and competitors that comply with federal organic law.

What’s a conscientious consumer to do?Check out the Cornucopia Institute’s Scorecard. It lists to what degree these larger brands comply with organic standards:

The organization recommends consumers consult Cornucopia’s organic brand scorecards so they can choose from the many organic brands that partner with farmers and that truly deliver on the promise of better environmental stewardship, humane animal husbandry, and economic justice for the families who produce organic food.

 

 

Doctor Sued After He Cuts A Woman’s Vagina Without Her Permission: A Pregnant Woman Is NOT Public Property

May 1, 2015

It’s such a common thing for doctors to behave with violence toward a laboring woman that many people don’t even respond to a doctor’s violent actions against a woman’s vagina. In fact, a recent Yahoo article called “birth violence” a new term; however, there has been the term “birth rape,” that has been around for a quite a while, and it’s not a new concept at all. One woman who received an episiotomy without her consent, when a doctor cut her vagina 12 times, is suing that physician. She got the money from crowd funding, and she is suing for assault and battery, hooray! It’s time for the violence against women to stop.

Other women feel the same way; they want to stop violence against women, even if it is perpetrated by physicians.

Improving Birth stresses that Kelly had not intended to file a lawsuit, but, says Pascucci, “She was in mental anguish, physical pain, and will most likely have permanent damage.” Still, she had first complained repeatedly to the hospital and to the state medical board, but had been “ignored and placated,” according to Thompson. That’s when Kelly posted her video online, seeking input on whether she was mistreated and whether it was a case worth pursuing. It drew an outpouring of support and anger, with suggestions to sue.

But that’s easier said than done. First, there’s the issue of money for a lawsuit, which has so far been addressed with a Crowd Rise campaign, mounted by Improving Birth, that’s raised more than $8,600 as of Wednesday. “For all of us who received an unwanted episiotomy or any other intervention. Thank you for standing up for us! May this be the beginning to the end of obstetric violence,” wrote one of many supporters along with her donation.

The hard part now is convincing lawyers that a woman’s vagina is her own and worth protecting. Many people believe that once a woman becomes pregnant, she is public property, her body becomes public property “for the good of the baby.”

But even still, she notes, “A big cultural belief is that childbirth is damaging by definition… So many lawyers, just like many other people, will say, ‘Well, you’ve got your healthy baby.’”

Hopefully this case will help convince people that pregnant women’s bodies aren’t public property and they shouldn’t be subjected to assaults against their genitals just because they are pregnant. A woman and her baby are one body, so why would hurting the mom not hurt the baby?

Marriage Equality Is A Modern Concept For Both Women And Homosexual Couples Says Notorious RBG

April 30, 2015

Gotta love the Notorious RBG. Whenever I want some tough legal concept broken down, I read her opinions. Antonin Scalia says the same old thing: marriage equality never existed before so why should it exist now?

“for millennia, not a single society” [provided marriage equality]

The Notorious RBG says that since no society ever gave women equality, and that has changed, essentially, historical models can’t be used as today’s blueprint for defining marriage.

[Same-sex couples] wouldn’t be asking for this relief if the law of marriage was what it was a millennium ago. I mean, it wasn’t possible. Same-sex unions would not have opted into the pattern of marriage, which was a relationship, a dominant and a subordinate relationship. Yes, it was marriage between a man and a woman, but the man decided where the couple would be domiciled; it was her obligation to follow him.

There was a change in the institution of marriage to make it egalitarian when it wasn’t egalitarian. And same-sex unions wouldn’t — wouldn’t fit into what marriage was once.

Basically: Get with the times, Scalia. Since marriage has changed between men and women, you can’t argue that it’s the same as it always was and then use that as a basis to deny other definitions  of marriage. Women are no longer men’s property, and therefore, the definition of marriage in America changed a long time ago, or haven’t you noticed Scalia?

According to a Think Progress article, the gender roles were what defined marriage, and declared women to be property of their husbands. Once those gender roles broke down, then so does the case for the old definition of marriage:

So American marriage law, and the English law that it was derived from, presumed that the wife was both financially and sexual subservient to the husband. In a world where marriage is defined as a union between a dominant man and a submissive woman, each fulfilling unique gender roles, the case for marriage discrimination is clear. How can both the dominant male role and the submissive female role be carried out in a marital union if the union does not include one man and one woman? This, according to Justice Ginsburg, is why marriage was understood to exclude same-sex couples for so many centuries.

But marriage is no longer bound to antiquated gender roles. And when those gender roles are removed, the case for marriage discrimination breaks down.

Poorer Children Have Smaller Brains

April 28, 2015

If you wondered how much economics impact kids growing up, you can rest assured that science has provided some damning answers: growing up in poverty results in a smaller brain mass.

…Stanford University researchers found that children from low-income backgrounds tend to have smaller brains, overall, than their wealthier peers. The brain of a child whose family earns less than $25,000 annually is 6% smaller in surface area than a child whose parents earned more than $150,000, according to the study, published in Nature Neuroscience.

An additional study showed that children who grow up in poverty also have lower test scores, perhaps due to the way that poverty-stricken children’s brains actually function:

Researchers from MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research compared the brains of affluent 12- and 13-year-olds to the brains of less affluent peers. They found that one particular area of the brain — the neocortex, which plays a key role in memory and learning ability — is thinner in children from lower-income households.

This is an important part of the brain for young students, who are often tested based on their ability to recall large chunks of information. Children who had a thinner neocortex performed poorly on standardized tests, researchers found.  

More than 90% of high-income students scored above average on a statewide math and English/Language Arts standardized test, compared to less than 60% of low-income students. Differences in cortical thickness could account for almost half of the income-achievement gap in this sample, researchers wrote, mostly because the neocortex plays such a crucial role in performance on math and language arts exams.

Growing up in poverty is life-altering, brain-altering for these kids. Poverty literally causes a change in both the size of the brain and the way the brain functions. Money may not lead to happiness, but it may lead to a bigger brain.

 

“Dreamy” “Burly” “Alarmingly Handsome” Swedish Cops Break Up Bloody FIght on NY Subway

April 25, 2015

When one homeless man on a NY subway started beating up another homeless man, the train conductor put out a call for “any police” on the train to assist. To the rescue, four vacationing Norwegian police officers who were headed to Les Miserables. The officers have been called “dreamy” by one news outlet, and another called them “alarmingly handsome.”

US news website Mashable called the blond-haired Swedes “alarmingly handsome” and gushed breathlessly that they “look more like Scandinavian models than police officers.”

Another report of the officers’ good looks:

Four burly Swedish police officers were hailed as heroes and set hearts aflutter with their model-like looks after they put aside their New York vacation to subdue a bloody fight.

Sounds like Americans’ are gushing over the Swedes in more ways than one…

 

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