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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TEENS Can Stomp Out Bullying with Peer Affirmation

CALIFORNIA — A 17-year-old reached back to the sheet of paper taped to her back and pulled it off Monday at Fair View High School — then she started smiling. Mary said it felt "awesome" reading the affirmations other students wrote about her on the paper. She had no idea who scrawled each one in different colored marker, but her favorite was, "You're gorgeous inside and out." "It made my day better," she said about reading the notes. "I'm gonna keep it." she and more than 60 other students wrote positive notes on paper taped to each others' backs Monday as Fair View High School kicked off National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. The teens lined up in "love trains" writing encouraging words such as, "Never give up," and "I love your laugh." Nancy Medina, target case manager for the high school, organized the event with the help of Friday Night Live leaders and  Chico Rural Teacher Pathway students from Butte College. Teachers hoped to make students aware that bullying hurts people, sometimes enough to attempt suicide, and that while bullies need to stop, victims and peers need to stand up against abuse. They also wanted the teens to know that being positive makes their classmates feel accepted. 

"Sometimes, even if you just turn around and smile at a person, it makes them feel like they matter," Medina said. Dozens of students packed into a classroom for the Stomp Out Bullying event, whena teacher  called 16-year-old Anne X to the front of the room. Teachers had prepped the teen for what she was about to hear. The student held up a red paper heart. Boone said to the class that X was rude and asked the students if they had something to say to her. "You're totally useless," one student said and the teen ripped off a piece of her paper heart. Another classmate made another rude comment and tore another piece. One student asked, "Are we breaking her heart?" as classmates continued to read out notes not directed at AnneX, but that students and teachers hear every day at school, Boone said. AnneX said after ripping up her heart that it "sucks" hearing such negative comments. "It just makes you feels upset and mad all day," she said.

Boone asked the students how to mend a broken heart and prompted them to give Anne X compliments. "You're very pretty," one student said and AnneX started unfolding a red paper heart without tears. "Don't let what people say get to you because it's not true," a teen said and the student kept unfolding her "mended heart." When teacher Alexey Ledwith asked how many students had heard negative comments similar to the ones read out to X, almost every student held up their hand. When he asked about hearing positive comments, fewer teen raised their hands. "It's important to realize how many things in a day we say that are negative compared to positive," Ledwith said. "It gets out of hand." 

The students watched two anti-bullying videos, then wrote positive messages on big balloons. Later on, students released the balloons into the air. Boone told the students Tthe activities were a good reminder to take care of each other. "We're gonna follow up on this," Boone said. "It's wonderful we're talking about bullying today. But it's gotta happen tomorrow. And it's gotta happen the next day." 

Story Posted:  10/04/2011 12:00 AM    Not available now. And all student names changed.  Staff writer Katy Sweeny can be reached at 896-7760 or  

Friday, December 9, 2011

A $200,000 MORTGAGE for $2/month.

Letter from ALAN GRAYSON
You saw that title, “A $200K Mortgage for $2 a Month,” and maybe you thought, “that looks like spam.”     No. It’s real.
And then maybe you thought, “a $200,000 mortgage? For only $2 each month? That sounds impossible.”
Well, it is possible  .....   It’s just not possible for you.
For Bank of America, yes. For Citigroup, yes. For Wells Fargo, yes.  For you, no.
The GAO’s main report on its audit of the Federal Reserve exposed who received the trillions of dollars in Fed bailouts. But the GAO report wasn’t very specific about the terms of those bailouts.
For that, we have the Freedom of Information Act records obtained by Bloomberg News, which Bloomberg wrote about last week. Among other things, Bloomberg reported that the Fed lent out this cash to Wall Street at rates “as low as 0.01 percent.” If you do that math, you’ll see that when the Fed gave Citigroup the money for a $200,000 mortgage, at 0.01 percent, Citigroup had to pay less than $2 each month for that money.
Citigroup then lent that money to you – if it deigned to lend you anything – for maybe $1,000 a month, maybe more. And that $40,000 credit card balance? Citigroup paid the Fed less than a dollar a month for that money. And you paid $1,000.

Citigroup pays $1. You pay $1,000. You see how that works?

Citigroup fell into such a deep hole that it had to borrow a “term-adjusted” $58,000,000,000 from the Fed, according to Page 132 of the GAO’s audit report.
And what would you get from the Fed, if you fell into a deep hole? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Diddly-squat. Zero.
You wouldn’t get jack.
If you lose your home, you can sleep in your car. If you lose your car, you can sleep under a bridge. Unless, of course, you’re a Wall Street banker.
Now we have a government that says: “Trillions for Wall Street, but not one penny for you.”
That’s our government. Unless we change it.
Courage,    Alan Grayson

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes. Everybody knows.”

- Leonard Cohen, “Everybody Knows”

We need someone in Congress who is PAYING ATTENTION. And someone who is willing to FIGHT FOR US. Click here, and support Alan Grayson’s campaign TODAY. 


An email with this message from Victor Fehrenbach 
(Note it is an campaign ad for Patrick Murphy)
Did you catch the latest bit of intolerance out of the GOP presidential field?

Let me put it in perspective. I was an Air Force aviator in Iraq and Afghanistan. I flew 88 combat missions. But according to his latest TV ad, Rick Perry thinks I’m the problem with America.

That’s right. Not the growing income inequality. Not corporate crime robbing working families of their jobs and their homes. Americans are struggling because gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military.

As someone who was targeted under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I know better than most that we can’t allow this kind of bigotry to go unchallenged. It has to be responded to swiftly and urgently, every time we hear it. That’s why I’m joining my friend and fellow veteran Patrick Murphy in telling Rick Perry – who, like me, is a former airman – to pull this ad down now.

We need as many voices as possible to make sure the Tea Party finally gets the message – prejudice like this is unacceptable. Period. Join Patrick and me today.
Click here join us in telling Rick Perry to pull down this bigoted ad right away and stop attacking equality and tolerance.
For three years, I fought my discharge under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And on Capitol Hill, Patrick led the fight when it was anything but politically popular, refusing to give up even during the darkest moments. We didn’t fight so hard to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” so that people like Rick Perry – not to mention Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich – could use the threat of reinstating it as a campaign talking point.
The Tea Party needs to get the message loud and clear that open service in the military is here to stay. Behavior like booing a gay active-duty soldier – as they did during a GOP debate mere days after the repeal was certified – is reprehensible, shameful behavior. Patrick needs you to add your voice today in condemning the bigoted rhetoric and standing up for equality and tolerance.
Click here to tell the Tea Party to stop their prejudiced behavior now.
So many of us waited such a long time for that historic day in September when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was finally finished for good. There’s more work to do, but taking a stand against intolerance will bring about change – I hope you’ll join Patrick and me in the fight today.
Thank you for your support.
Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach

NSD letter: RE: Obama/Clinton on Worldwide Human Rights include LGBTQ Rights.

Once again, President Obama and his administration are making historic progress in the realm of LGBT equality. Yesterday, the Administration announced a ground-breaking new strategy to engage the rest of the world on the treatment of LGBT people. ( ) Speaking in the clearest voice possible, the memo outlines the steps the US government will take to help stamp out discrimination and abuse perpetrated by foreign governments against their LGBT citizens.
To drive home this point, President Obama dispatched his top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to deliver an address to the member countries of the United Nations. ( )In the speech, billed as a commemoration of the adoption of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Secretary Clinton spoke for nearly 30 minutes on the state of LGBT equality around the world. She was passionate, direct, and most of all, she proved that she - and the President - understand the plight of LGBT people.
Consider this passage from Secretary Clinton's speech as a shining example (emphasis mine):
Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same. Now, of course, 60 years ago, the governments that drafted and passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were not thinking about how it applied to the LGBT community. They also weren’t thinking about how it applied to indigenous people or children or people with disabilities or other marginalized groups. Yet in the past 60 years, we have come to recognize that members of these groups are entitled to the full measure of dignity and rights, because, like all people, they share a common humanity.

This recognition did not occur all at once. It evolved over time. And as it did, we understood that we were honoring rights that people always had, rather than creating new or special rights for them. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.
Do you think any of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates would allow their Secretary of State to deliver words as powerful as these in support of LGBT equality? Would any of the slate of GOP presidential wannabes even consider bringing the full weight of US foreign policy to bear on issues of LGBT discrimination and abuse? If you need any more proof that elections have consequences - and that Democrats are the party of equality - well, this is it.

The nattering nabobs of negativity will always find a reason to complain, but we know the truth - President Obama has built the most pro-equality administration in the history of the United States. As Stonewall Democrats, we are proud of this President and his Administration's record on LGBT equality. That is why we must stand strong with President Obama in 2012 and work to return him to the White House - along with a pro-equality majority in Congress - to continue the historic progress of the past three years.

I am so incredibly proud to be a Democrat. Join me - together we can ensure that LGBT rights are human rights.

In solidarity,

Jerame Davis
Interim Executive Director

Sunday, December 4, 2011

CENK is BACK! YoungTurks ... alive and well!

Announcement Letter from ALAN GRAYSON ... Sharing as far and wide as I can.

'Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks and former MSNBC host, returns to TV tomorrow night, on Current TV. And he has invited me, Alan Grayson, to be a guest on his first show.

Cenk virtually invented Internet TV news, and completely dominates that medium. Cenk’s Young Turks YouTube channel has almost 300,000 subscribers, enjoys 1,000,000 views a day, and has accrued more than 600 million views since it started.
Cenk also was a substitute host on MSNBC last year, and he hosted the 6 p.m. hour on MSNBC from January through June this year. His show rated first among cable news shows with the audience aged 18-34.

His on-the-air signature is a quite simple one: like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Dylan Ratigan, Cenk Uygur is a hard-hitting, unapologetic progressive. He tells it like it is. He doesn’t say what you want to hear; he says what you need to hear.

Now, Cenk has decided to take his talents to Current TV. He’ll be on weekdays, at 7 pm. Current TV is channel 358 on DirecTV, and channel 215 on the Dish Network. If you have cable TV, you can go and put in your zip code in the upper right corner, to find out which channel Current TV is for you.

Cenk has been kind enough to invite me on his show several times. One of the most memorable for me was our chat on the air just after the 2010 election, which was reported this way:
Grayson, visibly downbeat about his election results, explained that the reason for his defeat was the inability of Democrats nationally to get out the vote. “If Democrats don’t vote,” he told Uygur, “Democrats can’t win.” Explaining that turnout had fallen 20% for Republicans and 60% for Democrats in his district since 2008, he argued that “Democrats are saddened and demoralized by this policy of appeasement” that he believes always leads to defeat where compromise is not an option. Compromise, he continued, was not possible with Republicans because their entire strategy is “no.”

“There is no ‘center left,’” he continued to argue, such that being a centrist or attempting to ignore extremes was a losing policy. Calling the campaign a “national disaster,” Grayson believes his defeat was not a local issue, but a national epidemic of malaise on the left. “Our voters went on strike,” he concluded, “and we have to win them back by accomplishing things for ordinary people.”

If you want to see someone with a head, a heart and a spine report the news tomorrow night, then you can tune in to Cenk’s show. And if you want to help to see someone with a head, a heart, and a spine in Congress next year, you can click on that “Contribute” button below.
Cenk -- as Edward R. Murrow used to say on CBS, “good night, and good luck.”
Alan Grayson'

Saturday, December 3, 2011

LABOR is the Superior of Capital ... A LINCOLN

Here from Abraham Lincoln to Congress 150 years ago today

...'Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.'

Abraham Lincoln

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln V05

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:--In the midst of unprecedented political troubles we have cause of great gratitude to God for unusual good health and most abundant harvests.
this from page 134 ... so 9 pages precede the ending below.
Page 143

It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely, if not exclusively, a war upon the first principle of popular government-- the rights of the people. Conclusive evidence of this is found in the most grave and maturely considered public documents, as well as in the general tone of the insurgents. In those documents we find the abridgment of the existing right of suffrage and the denial to the people of all right to participate in the selection of public officers except the legislative boldly advocated, with labored arguments to prove that large control of the people in government is the source of all political evil. Monarchy itself is sometimes hinted at as a possible refuge from the power of the people.
In my present position I could scarcely be justified were I to omit raising a warning voice against this approach of returning despotism. It is not needed nor fitting here that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions, but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life.
Now there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.
Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed.
Page 144

Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with their capital hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither class--neither work for others nor have others working for them. In most of the Southern States a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters, while in the Northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men, with their families--wives, sons, and daughters,--work for themselves on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital; that is, they labor with their own hands and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.
Again, as has already been said, there is not of necessity any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States a few years back in their lives were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just and generous and prosperous system which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequent energy and progress and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost.