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Topics - Juana Go?

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A proposed bill in Kansas is calling for people with HIV or AIDS to be quarantined.

Lawmakers are close to passing a new law discriminating against those who have HIV or AIDS, forcing them to be isolated or have their movements restricted.

Kansas House Bill 2183, which has passed in the Kansas Senate, will update the state’s public health statute by allowing quarantine of Kansans with ‘infectious diseases.’

Senator Marci Francisco attempted to restore an amendment providing an exclusion for people living with HIV/AIDS, saying the disease is not spread through casual contact and the bill could permit discrimination.

Cody Patton, Executive Director of sexual health charity Positive Directions, said: ‘We live in a very conservative state and I’m afraid there are still many people, especially in rural Kansas, that have inadequate education and understanding concerning HIV/AIDS.

‘My fear would not be the state uses the law as some way to move all people living with HIV/AIDS into an isolated community, but that this law could allow some county employee to use this law to justify their religious beliefs over their professional responsibilities and discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS.’

The law was originally intended to remove the need for a firefighter or a paramedic who would have to get the necessary court order to get a victim’s blood for infectious diseases if they had become exposed to it.

In 1988, Kansas banned quarantining those with AIDS. If the law is passed, many are fearing health officials will begin intimidating those with HIV or AIDS with the threat they could be isolated from the general population.

Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said by including HIV/AIDS in this updated law, Kansas legislators are harkening back to the ‘earliest, darkest days’ of the AIDS epidemic.

He said: ‘At best, it is short-sighted of Kansas legislators to reject Senator Francisco’s amendment. It either shows how little they understand about HIV and how it is transmitted—it is not spread through casual contact such as TB or other airborne communicable diseases—or it shows that they want the ability to quarantine people, and/or discriminate against them in other ways as they see fit.

‘For the Senators, either choice shows a real lack of understanding about public health and safety—one of the most basic services that is government’s role to ensure.’

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are currently working to get this law passed, meaning it will likely be voted on and passed in the next few weeks.

Aneristic Illusions / Italian Color v. American Express
« on: February 26, 2013, 06:45:42 pm »
This Supreme Court Case Could Give Corporations Even More Power to Screw Consumers
On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court will hear a case that has the potential to give big corporations free rein to write contracts that prevent consumers from ever holding them accountable for fraud, antitrust violations, or any other abuses of consumer and worker protection laws now on the books. It's a case that hasn't gotten much attention, but should.

The case, Italian Color v. American Express, was brought by a California Italian restaurant and a group of other small businesses that tried to sue the credit card behemoth for antitrust violations. They allege Amex used its monopoly power to force them to accept its bank-issued knock-off credit cards as a condition of taking regular, more elite American Express cards—and then charging them 30 percent higher fees for the privilege.

The small businesses claims were pretty small individually, not more than around $5,000 per shop. So, to make their case worth enough for a lawyer to take it, they banded together to file a class action on behalf of all small businesses affected by the practice. In response, Amex invoked the small print in its contract with them: a clause that not only banned the companies from suing individually but also prevented them from bringing a class action. Instead, Amex insisted the contract required each little businesses to submit to the decision of a private arbitrator paid by Amex, and individually press their claims. (Arbitration is heavily stacked in favor of the big companies, as you can read more about here and here.)

The restaurants estimated, with good evidence, that because of the market research required to press an antitrust case, arbitration would cost each of them almost $1 million to collect a possible maximum of $38,000, making it impossible to bring their claims at all. After a lot of litigation, the little guys prevailed in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that the arbitration clause was unconscionable because it prevented the plaintiffs from having their claims heard in any forum. The court said the arbitration contract should be invalidated and that the class action should go forward in a regular courtroom. (Sonia Sotomayor sat on one of the appeals before heading to the high court and is recusing herself from the case as a result.) Now Amex is appealing and arguing that some of the high court's recent decisions in favor of big companies mean it has every right to use contracts to deprive the little guys of access to the legal system.

Consumer advocates are worried about how the court's going to decide this case. Under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the court has been especially amenable to the sorts of arguments Amex is making, and the results have been pretty damaging to consumers. The Alliance for Justice has a list here of some of the types of cases that were thrown out after the court's last pro-business decision about mandatory arbitration, which allowed companies to use arbitration clauses to trump state consumer and worker protection laws. It's not pretty.

If the court rules in favor of Amex, big companies will essentially be able to immunize themselves from any legal accountability, simply by forcing customers and employees to sign a contract to get a job or a cellphone or a bank account. Civil and consumer rights laws will stay on the books, but big companies will be able to ignore them.
I can't.

Discordian Recipes / Muffin Scrambled Eggs
« on: February 15, 2013, 11:33:36 pm »
Okay, they sound kind of weird, but they are fucking tasty, versatile, and a really quick breakfast.

Heat the oven to 375*.

Put liners in two muffin tins (you'll really only need to line about half of the second one).

Beat together eight eggs. Add one cup of vegetables of your choice (last time, I dumped salsa, some chopped sweet peppers, and roasted garlic in), 1/4c milk, 1/2tsp olive oil, 1/2tsp baking powder, 1/2c grated cheese, 1/2tsp pepper, and 1/4tsp salt. Beat it all again and ladle the mix into the muffin tin. You'll want to fill each cup up all the way.

Throw it in the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes. They will puff up like actual muffins, but don't worry, they'll deflate back down a bit.
They store well for about a week, if you make sure to let them cool all the way before you bag them up. Otherwise they get really soggy.

Aneristic Illusions / Drones to be Used in Dorner Case
« on: February 11, 2013, 03:40:50 am »
I'm sure someone already called the fact that drones would be used on US citizens.
They believe burly, heavily-armed Christopher Dorner is holed-up in the wilderness of California’s snow-capped San Bernardino mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles.

The burnt-out shell of his pick-up truck was discovered in the nearby resort of Big Bear, where residents and tourists have been warned to stay indoors as the search continues.

Yesterday, as a task force of 125 officers, some riding Snowcats in the rugged terrain, continued their search, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.

A senior police source said: “The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Asked directly if drones have already been deployed, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, who is jointly leading the task force, said: “We are using all the tools at our disposal.”

The use of drones was later confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio
, who revealed agents have been prepared for Dorner to make a dash for the Mexican border since his rampage began.

He said: “This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement. That’s all I can say at the moment.”

Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for lying about a fellow officer he accused of misconduct, has vowed to wreak revenge by “killing officers and their families”.

In a chilling, 6,000 word “manifesto” on his Facebook page he has threatened to “bring warfare” to the LAPD and “utilise every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordinance and survival training I’ve been given.”

Dorner, 33, who rose to the rank of lieutenant in the US Navy and served in Iraq before joining the LAPD, also ominously warned that he has shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles to “knock out” any helicopters used to pursue him.

Last night, Brian Levin, a psychologist and professor of criminal justice at Cal State University, San Bernardino, said: “We’re talking about someone who basically perceives that a tremendous injustice has been done to him that took his life and identity.

“Now he is, quite literally, at war.”

Dorner’s rampage began last Sunday when he shot dead Monica Quan, 27, the daughter of a former LAPD captain, and her fiancé Keith Lawrence as they sat in their car outside their home in Irvine, California.

Three days later, he stole a boat at gunpoint from an 81-year-old man at a yacht club in San Diego, near the Mexican border. He abandoned the boat when he could not get its engine to start.

The following day, last Thursday, he was involved in a shoot-out with police in Cornona, 110 miles north of San Diego. The officers, one of whom was wounded, had been guarding one of his intended online targets.

Later that day, in nearby Riverside, he killed one police officer, whose name has not yet been revealed for security reasons, and wounded a second after opening fire on their car at a set of traffic lights.

As the manhunt for him broadened across numerous police jurisdictions, police mistakenly shot and wounded a mother and daughter delivering newspapers in a pick-up truck similar to Dorner’s.

That incident, in the LA suburb of Torrance, was astonishingly followed two hours later by another in the same area, when police again opened fire on a pick-up. This time, there were no casualties. Hours later, Dorner’s actual pick-up truck was found on a forest road near Big Bear City.

“He had torched it,” a San Bernardino police spokesman said. “We assume it may have broken down before he set fire to it.”

Since then, the huge manhunt for Dorner has focused on an area where hundreds of log cabins, both owned and rented out to tourists, are dotted around the mountainside.

“There is a strong possibility he is using an empty or abandoned one as a bolt-hole,” the police spokesman added last night.

LAPD police chief Charlie Beck, who has pleaded on TV with Dorner to surrender, accepted he might be “difficult to find”, adding: “He knows what he is doing. We trained him and he was also a member of the armed forces. It is extremely worrisome and scary.”

Police have also pleaded with local residents not to try to mount a civilian vigilante force or try to aid in the hunt for the fugitive.

However, one Big Bear resident, Dennis Pollock, said: “I did 12 years in the Marine Corps. Give me a sniper rifle, some gear, and point me in his general direction and get out of my way.”

Another local said: “We know every inch of this terrain and could be a real help to the cops, but all they’ve told us to do is stay at home and lock all our doors.”

Last night, America’s National Weather Centre warned that the hunt for Dorner could be further hampered by an expected snowfall of up to 6ins in the mountains. Wind gusts of up to 50mph are also forecast, creating an extreme wind-chill factor in the already freezing conditions.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said: “To be honest, he could be anywhere right now. Torching his own vehicle could have been a diversion to throw us off track. Anything is possible with this man.”

Apple Talk / ITT, You Suggest Ridiculous Movies
« on: January 02, 2013, 09:33:58 am »
A friend and I have already watched Highlander I and will be watching the next two, but we need more! The weirder, the better.

High Weirdness / Possible Side Effects of Tucson May Include Brain Leakage
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:46:04 am »
Woman With Runny Nose Turns Out to Be Woman With Leaking Brain Fluid
If this doesn't prove that you should always self-diagnose yourself with the worst symptom-matching WebMD diagnosis possible, nothing will. After four months of leaking a grotesque amount of liquid from her nose, which several doctors initially blamed on severe allergies, Aundrea Aragon went to the emergency room where, after testing the fluid, she was diagnosed with a cerebrospinal fluid leak AKA her brain juices were leaking all over her face.
"It wasn't even dripping, it was pouring out of my nose," said Aragon, a 35-year-old mother from Tucson, Ariz. "If I looked down or bent over, it would literally pore out of the left side of my nose. I had no control at all."
If left untreated, the rare disease (only 1 in 100,000 get it) can be deadly because of the risk of infection. As a doctor told ABC: "You are constantly making brain fluid. It can be fatal when there is a connection between the cleanest part of the body, the brain, and the dirtiest part, the nose."

Unrelated but still noteworthy: Did anyone else not know that the nose is the dirtiest part of the body?

Moving on.

Aragon, who is the mother of three young children, didn't question her doctors diagnosis of allergies at first but after weeks of walking around with paper towels stuffed up her nose, she grew concerned enough to go to a nearby urgent care center. There, both the nurse and doctor were shocked at her condition. "You should have seen [the doctor's] face, when he tried to be expressionless," she told ABC.

When the nurse asked her to fill a tube for a sample, a calm Aragon told her, "I can fill that tube up 20 times over." Ugh.

Once the diagnosis of leaky brain syndrome was confirmed, Aragon was sent to the University of Arizona for surgery. The process is usually barbaric ("We [would] retract the brain and pull in backward, taking out the frontal lobes and lift them out of the way and patch up the belly of the brain," said one of her doctors about the old procedure), but the University of Arizona has it down to a simple science. "Now, we go right through the nose — like going under the car to fix the carburetor," her doctor said. Yep, totally just like fixing a car.

Aragon is now doing fine, with a totally leakless brain. But she's not completely in the clear. According to her doctor: "She's not leaking anymore, but we have to make sure she doesn't spring a new leak," which is reassuring.

Discordian Recipes / Garbo's Winter Soups - Moroccan Roast Vegetable Stew
« on: November 18, 2012, 03:54:48 am »
I forgot to take pictures today, but first up: spicy chickpea potato stew. The link has the original version, of course, but here's my tweaked recipe. This feeds about four people.

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed, divided
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tin green chilis, drained and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp spicy curry powder
harissa to taste (I used about a teaspoon but I made my harissa with garden variety dried red chilis, which aren't super hot)
12 ounces tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 yellow potatoes, cubed small
1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste   
cayenne pepper to taste

Place 3/4 cup of the chickpeas and water in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Set that aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add chopped onion, garlic and green chilis and saute until the onion is lightly browned on the edges. Stir in the cumin, harissa, curry powder, and turmeric before adding the tomatoes and the reserved chickpea puree. Bring that to a boil before adding the potatoes. When you do so, reduce the heat and simmer covered until the potatoes are nearly done, which takes about 20 minutes.
Stir in the remaining chickpeas. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the stew is heated through, which is about another 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

The stew is very, very thick, reheats well, and is a very solid meal.

Aneristic Illusions / "We the People" Petitions to Secede
« on: November 12, 2012, 06:16:46 pm »
From Gawker
In the aftermath of last week's presidential election, residents in at least nineteen states have put up petitions on the government's "We the People" petitioning website seeking the right to secede from the rest of the country.

While the petitions themselves may not be significant, the reaction could be.

Petitions for secession filed from Louisiana and Texas have already received well over 10,000 signatures. Per the website's own rules, petitions that garner 25,000 signatures or more within 30 days require a response from the Obama administration.

Similar petitions from Alabama, Tennessee, and, interestingly, Oregon, are also gaining traction, with each receiving thousands of supporters over the weekend alone.

Other states in which residents have expressed an interest in going their own way include Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Missouri.

As unilateral secession was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, it remains to be seen if this movement is more than a toothless temper tantrum thrown by armchair revolutionaries
:lulz: :lulz: South Carolina has two of these going around, which is hilarious (for non-Amerispags, SC was the first state to secede from the Union during the Civil War).

Aneristic Illusions / Pussy Riot Band Members Sent to Remote Prison Camps
« on: October 23, 2012, 07:17:22 pm »
Oh hey.

Two members of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have been sent to remote prison camps to serve their sentences, the group has said.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, will serve the rest of her two-year term at a women's prison camp in Perm, a Siberian region notorious for hosting some of the Soviet Union's harshest camps. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been sent to Mordovia, a region that also hosts a high number of prisons.

"These are the harshest camps of all the possible choices," the band said via its Twitter account on Monday.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing an anti-Putin "punk anthem" in a Moscow cathedral in February. They argued that their conviction was part of a growing crackdown on free speech and political activism in Russia.

They are expected to serve the rest of their sentences, which end in March 2014, in the camps, where conditions are reportedly dire.

A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released earlier this month after being given a suspended sentence. Pussy Riot's supporters have argued that her release was designed to give the appearance of mercy from the authorities.

Confusion reigned on Monday as relatives and lawyers tried to assess exactly where the women were sent. Both Perm and Mordovia host several prison camps, some of which comprised the Soviet-era gulag system. Prison authorities declined to comment on the women's whereabouts.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova had petitioned to serve their sentences in Moscow, arguing that they wanted to be close to their children. Alyokhina has a five-year-old son named Filipp, while Tolokonnikova has a four-year-old daughter named Gera.

Apple Talk / The Junkyard Hag
« on: October 20, 2012, 01:21:21 am »
"Junkyard Seance"

You can find her in the junkyard. It doesn't matter which junkyard in which city, because she's in all of them. She's the Junkyard Hag, the final aspect of the Black Madonna of Tucson, and she'll talk to the spirits for you for a price. Sometimes she just asks for money, other times she asks for something absurd or dangerous (how the hell do you get tears from La Llorona when she hasn't got eyes?. The Hag wont accept bile, y'know), and sometimes the she'll tell you to call Miss Cleo.

But once you pay - if you can pay and she accepts your offering - she brings you to her table, which sits in the shadow of the tallest junkyard stack, and tells your fortune.

Apple Talk / Can we talk about me now? (Open bar thread #3,494)
« on: October 04, 2012, 04:31:11 pm »
I hate being late. Hate hate hate hate it.

(Edited to add title after thread split - TGRR)

(Edited to add that the new title isn't meant to reflect on this particular post - TGRR)

Apple Talk / Egalitarianism
« on: August 20, 2012, 12:12:52 am »
I thought I had more, but after some thought, it really boiled down one (possibly redundant why-are-you-asking-of-course-I-am!) question: I realize this isn't a Movement or a Cause, but as an idea, are you intending, on top of it being your individual behavior, to critique society?

Apple Talk / LABELS - The Thread!
« on: August 16, 2012, 10:42:50 pm »
At the end of the day, "yeah, we're all people and should be treated as such" is what I think. BUT I think that labels also have use.

- Humans like labels because they're short-hand ways of explaining yourself to yourself and to others. And you will inevitably pick them up and assign them to yourself no matter what. "Biped" is a label (a favored one around here, actually) and a perfectly good one at that.

- If someone tells me they're transsexual, I know to ask "what's your name, and which pronouns do you prefer?"

-- They quantify experiences and in order to accept people, you need to accept that they have had different experiences at the hands of society than you have (unless everyone you know is your clone). Which requires that you acknowledge their labels (because those are the ones that matter) because those labels help explain their stories. Saying NO LABELS LABELS ARE BAD is denying them a way to explain their lives, their experiences, their thoughts (no matter how retarded a set of thoughts is, you need to be able to explain it and labels make that easier).

-- If you want to be able to talk about a society, you need to have words to describe groups. "White men" = dominant group in Western society. "Women" = a subordinate group in most, if not all, modern societies, tasked with being the primary caregiver of children (whether or not you are actually fulfilling the expected roles or telling them to fuck off, it tells me what is expected of you and what sort of filters society probably outfitted you with).
--- They give you the ability to talk about power inequalities in a society. Cissexism (you are either a man or a woman and all other identities are unnatural) and racism require the dominant group and the subordinate group have names (in the case of race, specific cultures have sprung up around these as they have become identities). Otherwise you're groping around for an easy, concise way to explain elements of a concept, which isn't very good for a discussion necessarily

- Not teaching your kids about labels is not going to make an egalitarian society. They will assume (because kids are monkeys until you teach them otherwise) that everyone is like they are and that other forms of expression are badwrong (how do you think we got in this situation in the first place?). What you need to do (imo) is teach your kids that labels have their place and you should acknowledge them because they're ways people will tell you about themselves, but that these labels are not the be-all-end-all of who a person is, that people's labels and identity are perpetually in flux, and that you oughtn't judge them based on labels they have no control over (you don't get to pick what race, class, sex, or gender you were born into).

- I think quite a lot of this "ALL LABELS ARE BAD" thing is coming from positions of privilege. How often have you not had a word to explain yourself? Even if not all of you fits into the box that you were assign to, you have a box that explains at least some of your experiences. I can tell you that not having a word to explain vital parts of yourself is unsettling. I spent years trying to figure out why feminine pronouns are so fucking jarring (although less jarring than any others I have found). I kept poking at it and wondering if there was a word for it or how to explain it and then while reading up on gender, I found a word and it was like, "Oh! That's a pretty explanation!"

I don't think an egalitarian society can be labelless. I don't think it's even necessarily a desireable outcome because we need to be able to explain ourselves to ourselves and to others, and to do that we need labels for ideas and identities because no personal identity, no ways to explain yourself, sucks monstrously.

Literate Chaotic / Kyriarchy - books and article discussion thread
« on: August 06, 2012, 11:50:48 pm »
I just finished Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies, an Activist's Guide by Margo Maine[/url], which is both sad and very good, and touches everything from really fucked up adult body images, their affect on kids, gendered violence, and the way "body wars" (the way culture puts you at war with your own body in order to fit the 'standard') affect men, too, and how to change it all.

The book is from 2000 and culture has shifted some since then, I suspect it's mostly the same (although, let's be real, this book was published when I was eleven, so please correct me if I'm wrong).

I originally purchased Body Wars to check out the source of a pants-shittingly terrifying rape statistic (it made avoiding all men, forever and ever amen, sound like a really good idea). The source is a 1988 survey done by Ms. magazine and while I'd like to say things have changed (and in some ways I think they have. Maybe) the idea that there are some situations where the woman owes a man sex is still prevalent IME, and I don't think it's too far to say that there are a lot of men who would force it if they thought they were being denied their rightful poon.

The other parts I thought were valuable talked about body image specifically, especially the discussion of how poorly managed dieting (which is most of it) ends up fucking you up hardcore (a lot of the problems associated with being obese are also the same sort of issues shitty diets cause, and given the rate at which fat people in particular diet, there's definitely a link), how body wars affect men (I'd like PD dudes' thoughts here, particularly the older ones who've had the chance to watch the standard change), and how adults pass on their body concerns to their children. In particular, I found the way athletics sometimes body polices little girls ('"fat pig" awards given by coaches, group weigh ins, etc.) and the way the medical field is dealing with kids to be distressing (the book included one instance of a pediatrician who wanted to put an infant on a diet).

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