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I Actually Agree With the Bishop Here

2014 July 24




By Sherry Pasquarello,WWH/CJE - 

Yeah, I know, whoda thunk it? I rarely agree with the Bishop of Pittsburgh. Not that he would care if he knew and that’s fine by me. He’s entitled to his opinions. So am I. He gave me fits over his lawsuit over ACA and birth control but I knew why he felt he had to go to court.

Now though, I’m in his corner. He supports Holy Family opening up its doors and its programs to assist about twenty border kids at a time to navigate the system and be safe while they are processed. Good on you Bishop! You rock!!

I can’t say the same for the critics of this plan. It was embarrassing to me as a proud Pittsburgher and as a human being to see some of these critics being interviewed over and over again on our local T.V. news channels.

Twenty children, wow, do they think they are going to get off of the school bus with switchblades and bags of coke????

I am waiting nervously to see if these refugee children will be greeting by red faced, screeching knuckle draggers as in other states. If so, I hope they are roundly mocked by everyone in every form of media here and in every bar and bingo hall in the Burgh.



The Joys (and Oys!) of Sex After 50

2014 July 23
by Citizen Journalist Exchange
 Most boomers (71 percent) say sex is still important to their lives. — Barry Blitt

Most boomers (71 percent) say sex is still important to their lives. — Barry Blitt

6 boomer authors open up about physical intimacy — then and now

Source; AARP MAG. – Technically, the baby boomersdidn’t invent sex. They didn’t even lead the sexual revolution — sexologist Alfred Kinsey published the first of his two groundbreaking sexual-behavior studies in 1948. The oral contraceptive pill appeared in 1960. And a complex confluence of social and cultural factors helped unbuckle Americans’ sexual lives in the late 1960s and 1970s. But you’d be forgiven for giving boomers all the credit, since they’re the ones who got to enjoy the fruits of the revolution.

Coming of age as they did in this heady, horny time, it’s little wonder that sex has always loomed large in the boomer psyche. Now that the youngest boomers are celebrating their 50th birthdays, has anything changed? To find out, we asked 1,816 people to share the intimate details of their sexual lives for an exclusive AARP survey. The good news? Most boomers (71 percent) say sex is still important to their lives. Only slightly more than half (54 percent) are satisfied with their sex lives, however, and 67 percent admit that their sexual desire has receded in the past 20 years.

The raw numbers, of course, don’t tell the full story. So we asked some of our favorite writers and thinkers to offer personal observations on the ever-changing, ever-fascinating shape of human desire.

Holy Cow, Look at Me Now!

By Sally Koslow

Last year I met with a plastic surgeon and stripped to the waist faster than [burlesque performer] Dita Von Teese. I’d been diagnosed withbreast cancer. A unilateral mastectomy was in my future. The doctor told me that when he did the replacement surgery, he could fit me with implants on both sides and make not only my faux breast a bit bigger than its original, but also add a small implant to the healthy breast, so my girls matched. Lots of women do this, he explained.

Holy cow. Through the scrim of anxiety I glimpsed a silver lining, though it might have been the glimmer of hot-girl lingerie in my future.

I’d never felt my sex life had been diminished by having small breasts. I am married to an aficionado of legs and a pert behind, and on both scores, my husband had always given me 9.5 and no lack of amorous attention. He is also a guy who held my hand during cancer’s darkest moments, changed post-surgical drains, found my drugged word slurs charming and never stopped making me feel great about my body. Still, I couldn’t wait to get my cleavage card punched. Read more…


An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati

2014 July 22
by Citizen Journalist Exchange

argusfest Published on Mar 8, 2014

The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talk about his experiences in the IDF and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.

Eran Efrati, 28, was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduating high school he enlisted in the IDF, where he served as a combat soldier and company sergeant in Battalion 50 of the Nachal Division. He spent most of his service in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. In 2009, he was discharged and joined Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness about the daily reality in the Occupied Territories. He worked as the chief investigator of the organization, collecting testimonies from IDF soldiers about their activities. He also guided political tours and to the West Bank and worked to educate Israeli youth about the reality of being a soldier in an occupying army. His collected testimonies appear in the booklet “Operation Cast Lead” and their most recent release “Our Harsh Logic”. Since leaving Breaking the Silence, his investigative reports appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. Today he is active with the Israeli groups Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within.


I Just Can’t Stand Much More

2014 July 21

imagesBy Sherry Pasquarello,WWH/CJE - 

My local paper has a right wing columnist named Jack Kelly. His column runs every Sunday in THE PITTSBURGH POST- GAZETTE. I usually don’t say anything about him because I have a friend over at the blog, TWO POLITICAL JUNKIES that takes him to task regularly and far better than I ever could. Today though, well today Kelly has really upset me so I’m chiming in.

His column today is titled SEND THE KIDS BACK- let’s not waste billions of dollars on illegals. Yes, here’s another right winger, telling me that it would be far cheaper to just load these kids onto airplanes and ship them right back to their native countries. Cheaper, probably, humane and worthy of America? No way!

Oh, he uses all the right buzz words, chief among them the dreaded, “Illegal Alien”. He insists that only a “handful” of them qualify for protection under the Wilberforce Act-according to Conn Carroll of the Washington Examiner. Really ? I’d like to see that data that says that seeing as very few have been processed yet. Kelly goes on to insist that many Blacks and Hispanics are extremely upset over these kids. They want them sent back. “All these kids. Why can’t they go back?” asked an African-American mom in Huston. “Barack will go down as the worst president ever elected.” Said a black resident on Chicago’s South Side. Other quotes by minorities, Black and Hispanic are said to have complained that these kids are “gaming the system” and “Where can I get asylum? I can’t let my kids play outside. The neighborhood is so violent.” That from a caller in Baltimore to Laura Ingraham’s radio show.

Notice something? No names to these statements and that these quotes are supposedly from Blacks and Hispanics. Notice how the idea of dangerous and poor minority neighborhoods were thrown into the mix. Did you catch how no whites were quoted? Yep, throw this refugee crisis right in the laps of these two groups and make it seem as if poor minorities here are ready and willing to herd these kids onto planes and wash their hands like Pilate of the entire matter. Yep, and while they are dumping the crisis in their lap they are sneakily implying that Blacks are themselves gaming the system and don’t want anyone cutting into the action.

Oh, there are other talking points in this piece of republican ass kissing. That if this whole event was planned to make republicans look bad it is backfiring, blah blah blah… I expected that sort of a column. If that was all this was I wouldn’t be writing this. The fact that there are so many supposed quotes from Hispanic and Black Americans, unnamed and unverifiable quotes- THAT is the reason I’m writing this instead of having a second cup of coffee and enjoying my Sunday morning.

Shame on Mr. Kelley. He knows he manipulated his column. Me? I am not a professional journalist. I am a citizen journalist and I do not get paid for what I do. I do this because I love my country. I love our planet and I want better for everyone. I don’t need or care to suck up to anyone to keep my job. I don’t care that I am not recognized on the street or rub elbows with local movers and shakers. So, maybe I make typos( oh hell, I am the queen of them)maybe my grammar drives English majors crazy- I know that my punctuation does- don’t fault the nuns back at St. Scholastica or the teachers at Fox Chapel- I was a great English student back in the day. At my age I just don’t have the time or the inclination to be a stickler about it. I’d rather research and pass on info. I am pretty good at finding things.

No, I’m just remarking about a cold and cruel column full of innuendo and the high pitched whine of dog whistles.



“Violent attacks” caused uncontacted Indians to emerge

2014 July 21
Seven uncontacted Indians made contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border in June. Authorities have treated them after an outbreak of flu. © FUNAI

Seven uncontacted Indians made contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border in June. Authorities have treated them after an outbreak of flu.

From - Highly vulnerable uncontacted Indians who recently emerged in the Brazil-Peru border region have said that they were fleeing violent attacks in Peru.

FUNAI, Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department, has announced that the group of uncontacted Indians has returned once more to their forest home. Seven Indians made peaceful contact with a settled indigenous Ashaninka community near the Envira River in the western Acre state, Brazil, three weeks ago.

A government health team was dispatched and has treated seven Indians for flu. FUNAI has announced it will reopen a monitoring post on the Envira river which it closed in 2011 when it was overrun by drug traffickers.

The emerging news has been condemned as “extremely worrying” by Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, as epidemics of flu, to which uncontacted Indians lack immunity, have wiped out entire tribes in the past.

Brazilian experts believe that the Indians, who belong to the Panoan linguistic group, crossed over the border from Peru into Brazil due to pressures from illegal loggers and drug traffickers on their land.

Uncontacted Indians face pressures on their land due to illegal logging, drug trafficking and oil and gas exploration (picture taken in 2010).
Uncontacted Indians face pressures on their land due to illegal logging, drug trafficking and oil and gas exploration (picture taken in 2010).
© Gleison Miranda/FUNAI/Survival

Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an Indian from Acre state, said, “This news proves that my uncontacted relatives are threatened by violence and infectious diseases. We already know what can happen if the authorities don’t take action to protect them, they will simply disappear. They need time and space to decide when they want to make contact and their choices must be respected. They are heroes!”

Uncontacted Indians in Peru suffer multiple threats to their survival as the government has carved up 70 percent of the Amazon rainforest for oil and gas exploration, including the lands of uncontacted tribes.

Plans to expand the notorious Camisea gas project, located in the heart of the Nahua-Nanti reserve for uncontacted Indians, recently received the government’s go-ahead, and Canadian-Colombian oil giant Pacific Rubiales is carrying out exploration on land inhabited by the Matsés tribe and their uncontacted neighbors.

Both projects will bring hundreds of oil and gas workers into the lands of uncontacted tribes, introducing the risk of deadly diseases and violent encounters, and scaring away the animals the Indians hunt for their survival.

Survival has launched an urgent petition to the Brazilian and Peruvian governments to protect the land of uncontacted Indians, and called on the authorities to honor their commitments of cross-border cooperation.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, “This news could hardly be more worrying – not only have these people confirmed they suffered violent attacks from outsiders in Peru, but they have apparently already caught flu. The nightmare scenario is that they return to their former villages carrying flu with them. It’s a real test of Brazil’s ability to protect these vulnerable groups. Unless a proper and sustained medical program is immediately put in place, the result could be a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Survival International is the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights. We help tribal people defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. Founded in 1969, Survival celebrates its 45th Anniversary this year.



When Ted Nugent Took on Jerry Garcia—and Pissed Off Hippies Everywhere

2014 July 20

imagesAuthor: , posted - 

Ted Nugent—fourth-rate guitar player, tenth-rate intellectual, first-rate animal killer—has now apologized for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”

But Nugent has yet to apologize for a comment he made a decade ago that caused a different kind of uproar.

In an interview with Relix Magazine, he referred to Jerry Garcia as “an absolute pathetic lump of shit.” The slam immediately violated the peaceful sensibilities of the most devout deadheads and hippies across the United States. After all, the publication began in the ’70s as a Grateful Dead newsletter, and speaking ill of Garcia in those pages is like running into a church and screaming, “I love Pontius Pilate!” The office was flooded with hate mail.

“Subscribers were outraged,” says Josh Baron, the magazine’s former editor-in-chief. “It was like sacrilege—printing defamatory language about the deity. They thought Nugent had no business being in there.”

But as with all magazines, there was a desire to create conversation. Nugent’s comment, after all these years, still manages to drive deadheads absolutely potty. Together, they gather on the Internet, shrug off their hippie niceties, and get primal, their collective savage energy matched only by such Nugent classics as “Wango Tango” and “Cat Scratch Fever.”

“Many people are still really upset about the quote,” Baron says. “The Relix readership is very passionate.”

Behold the bloodbath:

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Nugent has done little, musically, in the last four decades. But despite the odds, over the last 10 years, he has managed to stay relevant, first reinventing himself as a survivalist, and then as a Tea Party icon. He is a hero of the National Rifle Association––though he hunts with a bow––and producers regularly put him on air for his eloquence. Last year, in a radio interview, he said, “I’m a black Jew at a Nazi Klan rally,” and on VH1′s Behind the Music Remastered, he asked, “What’s a feminist? Some fat pig who doesn’t get it often enough?”

Oh, Ted. What are we going to do with you?