30 June 2011

“ICYMI Thursday” - (I Wasn't Invited) Richard Thompson Gets OBE

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has named RICHARD THOMPSON to the 2011 Honours List as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. The honour was bestowed by The Queen during an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace 28 June 2011.
Yes, I love Richard Thompson, but I despise the British Monarchy...

29 June 2011

US Senators on "It Gets Better"

Some senators, including CT Senator Richard Blumenthal, speak up. Others not so much...
At the end they say that if you know someone who is suffering from gender or sexual choice bullying, or is feeling suicidal, please call The Trevor Project 866-488-7386 itgetsbetter.org

In addition: Come meet CT Candidate for US Senate Chris Murphy Thursday night in Milford!
Questions? email info@milforddemocrats.com or ctfreeradicals@gmail.com

28 June 2011

Double Countdown to Thursday June 30th

The Legislature is called to special session on Thursday, to settle the budget gap.

Thursday is also the deadline for financial support of your political candidates. That means Mayoral and First Selectman/woman candidates all over the state and the people running for office in 2012 - Congressmen and Congresswomen who represent us in DC.

In heavily contested races, such as the 5th District Congressional race, this is important. In other words:
Chris Donovan for Congress!!
Ben Blake for Mayor of Milford!!
Chris Murphy for Senate!!

Contact me at info@ctfreeradicals.com if you want further info on how to donate to these campaigns today.

27 June 2011

Wilco + National HIV Testing Day

National HIV Testing Day, on June 27, is an annual campaign coordinated by the National Association of People with AIDS to encourage people of all ages to "Take the Test, Take Control." Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available life-saving treatments. Currently, almost 40% of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have already developed AIDS. That can be up to 10 years after they first became infected with HIV. Finding out whether you are infected with HIV is the first step to improving your health and the health of your partners. Find a testing site at www.hivtest.org

26 June 2011

24 June 2011

Hands Across the Sand

CT Sierra Club’s South Central Group, Act New Haven, and Friends of Edgewood Park invite everybody to join them
Saturday, June 25th, 2011
11:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.
Silver Sands State Park - Milford, CT

Hands Across the Sand is an international movement of people from all walks of life. It is about protection of the air we breathe, the water that sustains us, our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, and fishing industries. This movement is about embracing energy sources that will sustain our planet. The image is powerful, the message is simple. NO to Offshore Oil Drilling, YES to Clean Energy.
Hands Across The Sand’s mission is to change our energy policy away from its dependence on fossil fuels and into the light of clean energy. The aim is to convince our leaders to abandon expanded offshore oil drilling and adopt policies that encourage clean and renewable energy sources.
Parking at Silver Sands State Park is free. Glass bottles and animals are not allowed on the beach. The sponsors of the event will supply some snacks and water, "therefore feel free to bring your eco-friendly refillable water bottles".

(Ed. Note: Reach Around the Beach with the Tree-Huggers!)

21 June 2011

[UPDATED] TONIGHT Fun (Free) Ticket - WED 6/22

Suzanne Manning will launch her campaign  for Milford's City Clerk at 6 pm [Wednesday] on the steps of Parsons Center (70 West River St). All are invited to hear Mike Brown's "mix tape", hear some fast-paced speeches, and do a little dancing in the street.

Then we will all hop skip and a-jump over to the newly remodeled Citrus Restaurant (56 South Broad Street) at 6:30 pm for a free fundraiser. By which I mean there is no charge to attend but it would be swell if people decided to contribute to Suzanne's campaign!

Kids are welcome. All locations are Handicapped Accessible. Plenty of parking. What more could you ask for?

Reminder from a previous post:
[Suzanne Manning is] The popular publisher of Milford Living Magazine, a former member of the Board of Aldermen, member of the United Way Board of Directors as well as the Get In Touch Foundation, Manning is a favorite of Democrats and Republicans alike in the city.

18 June 2011

Juneteenth - A Celebration and Anger

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

This story is a living story.  There is more to this than just the mistreatment of others. This is not History to be put aside when the book is read, it has a ripple effect that goes deeper than the attempt to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. [...]

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. 

The organization devoted to making Juneteenth a recognized holiday will have an event tomorrow in Washington DC and they have invited Speaker of the House John Boehner to attend. This is Important.
When the House convened this year the members read the Constitution. This grandstanding was silly and tolerable until they decided to omit the icky parts. Like the "Three Fifths" Clause.

More on this  follows...

17 June 2011

I know you're out there ----------------- ------------- I can hear you breathing

Guest Posts, OpEds, etc. are welcomed for publication on this site.  Please submit your verbiage via email to ctfreeradicals@gmail.com
Please send all Hate Mail via US Postal Service (so we can track your spittle DNA and do a handwriting analysis) to:
Tessa Marquis
84 Broad Street
Milford, CT o646o

Yes, it could be your S.O.S. to the world...
The Police--- young and raw.

16 June 2011

“ICYMI Thursday” - Freedom to Marry in New York State - Phone Legislators Now

Marriage bill introduced in the New York Senate  --  Cameron Tolle Jun 14, 2011 

Following announcements that 4 state Senators who previously voted against the marriage bill in 2009 will now support the freedom to marry this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced a marriage bill in the New York Senate. A bill has already been introduced in the State Assembly, which has previously passed marriage bills in three separate legislative sessions. Upon introducing the bill, Governor Cuomo remarked (via the New York Daily News):

"For too long, same-sex couples have been denied the freedom to marry, as well as hundreds of rights that other New Yorkers take for granted," Cuomo said. "Marriage equality is a matter of fairness and legal security for thousands of families in this state – not of religion or culture."
With the end of the legislative session drawing near, swift action on the marriage bill is expected in both chambers. New Yorkers should contact their legislators now to urge support by clicking here.
Of course, this is the group Anne Stanback chairs
Did I forget to say “The Great Anne Stanback”?
Contact all your friends in New York State so that they tell their Legislators to pass the Freedom to Marry bill.

Here is what I was told in an email I received last week (edited by moi):

Will you take a moment to write to your legislators? You could be the voice that helps Freedom to Marry and our coalition partners win marriage in New York [...]

By contacting your legislators in support of marriage, you will be taking one of the most effective actions possible to win marriage. And, with such a short time before the legislative session ends, we don't have a moment to waste. [...]

Even if you know your legislators are supportive, please contact them anyway. We want to inundate Albany with constituent contacts [...] so that Albany gets the job done once and for all.

Contact your legislators today and help Freedom to Marry win marriage in New York this month:http://freedomtomarry.org/NY-Speakout

What the heck...Let's create a block of safe states where all people have equal rights!

15 June 2011

Art - Peace - and Coping with Disaster

POKETTO is an interactive installation by Artist Niizeki Hiromi. 
It is on display at
Arts for Peace:  With One Accord
June 10-17, 2011
United Church on the Green
New Haven
A series of music and art events.
She will be at the site Friday, June 17th, the last day of the event.
Japan, where I was born and lived for 25 years, has been experiencing, right now, massive natural and manmade disaster and lost huge amount of lives/things. It is not the matter of one country any more.  I would  love to hear what is valuable for us, what is reality of our life.  "Imagine here is a pocket. If you may find any you like, what would you wish?"
CMA Teaching Artist Niizeki Hiromi has conceived the Poketto art installation as a means to engage our community in a healing response to the earthquake and tsunami that occurred on March 11 in North Eastern Japan. Poketto will enable children and families in Japan and New York City to communicate with each other through a cross-cultural art exchange. We welcome participation from Japan and the rest of the world by way of Facebook and Twitter.

There are two "POKETTO" Facebook pages, one is in Japanese:
and another in English:        
          Statement "POKETTO"
Sixties, in Tokyo, my brother, mother and I laid down on Futon on Tatami as shape of Chinese character River, “”. Talking how was the day in the school, classmates, Bento lunch etc, while finding snakes and faces among growth rings of wood of the ceiling before to sleep in. My brother and I wanted mom to know all what happened in the day, tried to remember every little things.
Now, 2011. Although time and situation could be different, would you feel like sharing what you want to say or know what others may want to share? Imagine here is a pocket. If you may find any you want in a pocket but only one, what would you wish?

Money? What do you like to buy with it? Why?
Camera? What do you like to shoot with it? Why?

Try to think what you really think important for you. Write it down. Draw it. Create it in 2D or 3D. E-mail it. It will be printed out and put in one of many pockets on the wall of installation POKETTO. I will be working at the site sometime, sewing pockets on the wall filled fabric tarp with needle and thread. […].

You can peek what others left in pockets.
For those looking to provide direct financial assistance to Japanese individuals and families impacted by the disasters, the Japan Society (www.japansociety.org/earthquake) is one several reputable charity organizations that may be contacted. 

14 June 2011

Republican Presidential Debate New Hampshire 6-13-11

#ThisOrThat tweets you may have missed:
  • Tiffany's or having your own diamond mine?
  • Haldol or Thorazine?
  • Never smell again or have to walk backwards when the sun goes down?
  • East Coast or West Coast? / Biggie or 2pac? 
  • Ask Newt Gingrich: Wife #1 or Wife #2?
  • During the zombie apocalypse, do you go with the CDC guide, or a sawed-off shotgun?
  • New moderator for #CNNdebate: Snookie or a 5th grader?
    • I dont think Ron #Paul knows what either a BlackBerry or iPhone is. A better question would have been 8 track or vinyl?

    13 June 2011

    Monday – I have Friday on my Mind

    Easybeats 1967
    Monday morning feels so bad,
    Ev'rybody seems to nag me
    Coming tuesday I feel better,
    Even my old man looks good,
    Wednesday just don't go,
    Thursday goes too slow,
    I've got Friday on my mind

    12 June 2011

    Today Only! Captain Kidd's Treasure Hunt

    Pirate Day

    Come to Milford - costumes encouraged - and try some of these delicious
    Pirate Cupcakes at Scratch Bakery!

    "Captain Kidd and his pirate friends will be hitting the shore of Milford, CT on Sunday, June 12th. Use your treasure map to find all the participating shops and be entered to win some great prizes. This is truly a family fun event that draws thousands of people each year. "
    • 11:30 - Map distribution – Lisman Landing - Music Chris Barber
    • 12 noon - Arrival of Captain Kidd and kidnapping of Mayor – Lisman Landing
    • 12:30- 3:00 pm - Map Distribution front Chamber of Commerce
    • 12:30- 5 pm -Tarot Card Reading at Moodswings
    • 1:00- 2:00 pm - Character Dining at Stonebridge Music by Jeremiah Long
    • 1:30 – 2:30pm - Gazebo on the Green – Music by the Navels
    • 2:30- 2:50pm - Talk Like a Pirate – Village Vogue Boutique
    • 3:00 – 4:00pm - Character Dining – Seven Seas Restaurant
    • 3:30- 4:30pm - Gazebo on the Green – Music by The Elwoods
    • 5:00 pm - All completed maps turned into Canvas Patch, Village Vogue or Milford Pedicab.

    And don't give me no Argggh-ument!

    11 June 2011

    Boy- & Girl-cott Amazon

    When you shop on the internet, make sure they collect taxes.
    It's the law.

    When you shop: Buy Local.
    Big Box is for Big Boulevards, Downtown is for Single Proprietor Stores.
    Keep it in the Community as much as possible. Encourage entrepreneurship.

    Support to your local Farmers Market. Go your local Independent bookstore.
    Screw Amazon.

    10 June 2011

    Equal Pay Act Anniversary - But We Aren't Equal Yet.

    Press Release from the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (CT)
    18-20 Trinity St., Hartford, CT 06106 ▪ 860/240-8300 ▪ pcsw@cga.ct.gov ▪ www.cga.ct.gov/pcsw/    Pix added.

    HARTFORD – Friday, June 10, marks the 48th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s signing into law the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill was aimed at eliminating the disparity between the wages of male and female workers. Since that time, the gap between women’s and men’s earnings has closed at an infinitesimal rate. In 1963, women in America made, on average, 59 cents for every dollar earned by a similarly qualified man. Today, women earn about 76 cents. Black women and Latinas earn considerably less.

    Therefore, the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) calls upon Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which builds upon the 1963 legislation, and was reintroduced this year by Connecticut’s Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd) and U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland).  In the last Congress, the Paycheck Fairness Act passed the House of Representatives but failed to pass the Senate by two votes.  It was reintroduced in both the House and the Senate this year, but no major action has been taken.

    “It is unacceptable that forty-eight years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, which was supposed to ensure all Americans receive equal pay for equal work, women in this country still earn only 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “That is why I have proposed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would enforce and strengthen the Equal Pay Act. I will keep fighting to see this bill passed into law, and to ensure that woman get the respect and compensation they deserve.”
    This is a photo of three smart Connecticut women: Teresa Younger, Executive Director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women; Nancy Wyman, Lt. Governor of the State of Connecticut; and Rosa DeLauro, Congresswoman, 3rd Congressional District, CT.


    Provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1519, S.797) are:
    • Clarifies the “any factor other than sex” defense so an employer trying to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job must show the disparity is not sex-based; is job related and is necessary for the business;
    • Prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who discuss or disclose salary information with their co-workers;
    • Strengthens the remedies available to include punitive and compensatory damages. Under the EPA currently, plaintiffs can only recover back pay or, in some cases, double back pay. The bill would ensure that women can receive the same remedies for pay discrimination that are available under other laws for discrimination based on race and national origin; 
    •  Requires the Department of Labor to improve outreach and training efforts to work with employers in order to eliminate pay disparities;
    • Enhances the collection of information on women’s and men’s wages in order to more fully explore the reasons for the wage gap and help employers in addressing pay disparities; and
    • Creates a new grant program to help strengthen the negotiation skills of girls and women.
    “What’s significant about the Paycheck Fairness Act is that it really puts teeth into the original law,” said Teresa C. Younger, executive director of the PCSW. “It removes any ambiguity, holds employers accountable and has provisions for training and employee protections.”
    About the PCSW: The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women was formed in 1973 under Sec. 46a of the Connecticut General Statutes to study and improve Connecticut women’s economic security, health and safety; to promote consideration of qualified women to leadership positions and to work toward the elimination of gender discrimination. As a non-partisan arm of the General Assembly, the agency monitors, critiques and recommends changes to legislation in order to inform public policy, and assesses programs and practices in all State agencies for their effect on the state’s women. The PCSW serves as a liaison between government and its diverse constituents, and convenes stakeholders, including the business, non-profit and educational communities, local governments, and the media, in order to promote awareness of women’s issues.

    09 June 2011

    "ICYMI Thursdays" - Because I know you Did (Miss it)

    This happened last week: Thurs 6/2/2011

    Hat tip to Corey Bearak - Government & Public Affairs Counselor - Queens NY
    Gotham Networking

    08 June 2011

    I Stand with Planned Parenthood

    Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
    Posted: 06/ 7/11
    Hat tip to Andrea Wilson for posting the link to this on facebook. Pictures added. For full article, click on title "Celebrating Estelle"
    Chances are you've never heard of Estelle Griswold. But she radically changed the lives of women in America. Forty-six years ago today[6/7/11], her courage secured a basic right that many of us take for granted today: the right to use birth control to plan and time our pregnancies and to keep our families healthy.
    As the stiff-spined director of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut, Griswold had spent years challenging an archaic state law that barred anyone, including married couples, from using "drugs or instruments" to prevent pregnancy.
    The police obliged, raiding the clinic, arresting the operators, and setting in motion a series of convictions and appeals that ultimately led to the United States Supreme Court. On June 7, 1965, the Court settled the matter -- declaring the Connecticut law unconstitutional and opening a new era in reproductive rights and social progress.
    The decision paved the way for subsequent rulings that have legalized birth control for unmarried couples, secured women's right to choose abortion, and overturned myriad restrictions on the sale and marketing of contraceptives. Together, these decisions have transformed women's lives.
    Access to birth control has made it possible for generations of women to pursue the education and careers they want. The proportion of women who complete four years of college increased fivefold between 1965 and 2008. So did the proportion of PhDs awarded to women. And the number of women in the workforce surged from 26 million to nearly 72 million.
    It's an impressive legacy -- handed down by a brave woman in a local Planned Parenthood health center.
    As we celebrate the legacy of the Griswold decision, let's recommit ourselves to building on it. We can improve the nation's health by investing in family planning programs and ensuring that birth control is within reach for all women.

    07 June 2011

    Yipes! Another Attack on Women's Reproductive Rights!!

    Anti-Abortion Groups Push To Outlaw Contraceptives By Redefining Personhood
    by: Marie Diamond Jun 3, 2011, ThinkProgress
    As always, CLICK HERE to read the full article. Images added/Not true size.

    A fringe anti-abortion group, Personhood USA, has been startlingly successful at pushing forward legislation across the country that would redefine life as beginning at the moment of fertilization, effectively outlawing contraceptives like birth control pills. Although the medical community has long been in agreement that fertilization does not mark the beginning of a pregnancy — fertilized eggs must first be implanted, and only about half of fertilized eggs actually result in a pregnancy — a growing number of lawmakers are supporting Personhood USA’s efforts to buck medical expertise and legally define life as the moment a sperm meets an egg. [...]
    Photo above from Scienceray.com
    But wait...there's more...
    According to 2008 numbers. around 11 million American women use birth control pills and another 2 million use intrauterine devices (IUDs).
    Contraceptives like the pill and IUDs not only act to prevent fertilization, but, if fertilization does occur, may prevent that fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Personhood USA considers this tantamount to abortion, and wants to make it a punishable offense for women to control their own fertility. Worse, because the proposed legislation could make any effort to terminate a pregnancy a criminal act, it could also bar doctors from saving the lives of women with ectopic pregnancies, which are never viable and need to be terminated as soon as possible.

     An abstract painting of a person by Paul Klee
      "The concept of a person can be very challenging to define." 
    From Wikipedia's definition of Personhood.

     If this is difficult for the reader to grasp...stop reading this and go read a book.  If you are pining for a reference to the State of Connecticut, here ya go:

    In the landmark privacy case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law that made it illegal for married couples to use contraception. It’s difficult to imagine that the justices would overrule Griswold, but not as difficult as it once was. Justice Thomas’ dissent in Lawrence v. Texas leaves little doubt that he would overrule Griswold if given the chance, and Chief Justice Roberts disparaged Griswold in an article he drafted in 1981, although he claimed to have backed away from that view in his confirmation hearing.

    I hesitated for a while about including illustrations in this post, since there are so many fakes out there on the innernet. I contemplated a comparison of various species' embryos - all remarkably similar to those of humans. The ones of elephant and dolphin fetuses are fascinating, but much older than this example of a 6 week old human embryo.

    06 June 2011

    Monday = Money

    Monday with a Twist
    Why oh Why do I answer the phone?
    A quiet Sunday afternoon at my office, trying to catch up on work, writing a press release and cleaning up my databases, when I get a call from Speaker of the House Chris Donovan. He is a candidate for Congress, you know. 
    (For those of you less into politics, here’s the deal:
    Chris Murphy is one of our Connecticut Congresspeople, representing us in Washington DC.
    He and Rosa DeLauro and Jim Himes and Joe Courtney and John Larson are our CT Delegation.
    Chris Murphy is running for Senator next year, leaving the Congressional seat open.
    Chris Donovan will run for Chris Murphy’s seat. )

    Here is what you need to have to run for any office not covered by the Citizens Election Program:
    M - O - N - E - Y
    And you need to have it by “The End of The Quarter”
                                                     – In the case of this particular time:
    June 30th

    So let’s not kid ourselves, Chris Donovan and I know each other, sure, and we have similar values, and it was under his watch this session that the House passed several bills dear to my heart, but he didn’t call me to chit-chat. He called for money.

    I will be really embarrassed if we can’t raise this money for him.

    About $100 from each of the people I send this to would be really great.
    I think Donovan might settle for $50 from each of us.

    Here is how you donate to MyGoodCloseDearFriend Chris Donovan:
    Checks can be made out to: "Donovan for Congress" and mailed to: PO Box 723 Meriden, CT 06450
    Or, you can give online here: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/entity/27148

    If you don’t want to put all your nest eggs in one candidate’s basket, let it be known that the following people also need some moolah by June 30th:
    Ben Blake – Candidate for Mayor of Milford http://bit.ly/mF6yk1
    Chris Murphy – Candidate for Senator http://bit.ly/gT1G8q

    Yes "Monday with a Twist" is spelled "Money"


    04 June 2011

    June 3rd and 4th – Great Days in CT History

    Paid Sick Leave passes in the House (Amended). When Governor Malloy signs the bill, Connecticut will be the first State in the US with such a law. 

    Anti-Discrimination Bill for Gender Identity passes in the Senate (WITHOUT! Amendments). Governor Malloy has been unwavering in his support of this matter.

    To require employers with fifty or more employees to provide paid sick leave to certain employees for use for the employee's sickness, the employee's child's, parent's or spouse's sickness, or to deal with sexual assault or family violence issues. 

    SB-913 Roll Call Number 273
    Taken on 06/04 AS AMENDED
    The Speaker ordered the vote be taken by roll call at 3:04 a.m.
    The following is the result of the vote:
    Total Number Voting 141
    Necessary for Passage 71
    Those voting Yea 76
    Those voting Nay 65
    Those absent and not voting 10

    To prohibit discrimination in various contexts on the basis of gender identity or expression.
    Co-Sponsored by: Rep. Geoff Luxenberg, 12th Dist., Sen. Beth Bye, 5th Dist., Rep. Gary A. Holder-Winfield, 94th
    Vote for HB-6599 Sequence Number 377
    Taken on 6/ 4 PASS
    The following is the result of the vote at 0:26 a.m.:
    Total Number Voting 36
    Necessary for Adoption 19
    Those voting Yea 20
    Those voting Nay 16
    Those absent and not voting 0
    Click here to find out how your State Senator voted
     Thank you Thank You Thank You
    to those who stood up
    against prejudice, misinformation, lies, and fear.

    (make your own noise for this one)

    Anti-Discrimination Bill a Done Deal


    (HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement, heralding final passage of a bill granting protections from gender identity discrimination under Connecticut law.

    “This bill is another step forward in the fight for equal rights for all of Connecticut’s citizens, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s difficult enough for people who are grappling with the issue of their gender identity, and discrimination against them has no place in our society. Connecticut has lead the way in other civil rights issues and I’m proud to be able to support and sign this bill.”


    03 June 2011

    Down to the Wire on Paid Sick Leave

    On today’s “GO List” in the State House of Representatives is Senate Bill No. 913 AN ACT MANDATING EMPLOYERS PROVIDE PAID SICK LEAVE TO EMPLOYEES. (As amended by Senate Amendment Schedule "A").   Here is an Op Ed about it from yesterday’s (June 2, 2011) Greenwich Time
    Sick leave legislation is good for employees - and employers
    Written by Bill Gaston / with emphasis added   Click here for full article

        Last week, the Connecticut state Senate, by a single vote, 18-17, passed historic legislation requiring businesses with 50 or more workers to offer employees paid sick time.
        The significance of this landmark legislation -- passed in the face of implacable, lock-step opposition from big business lobbyists and local Republicans -- can hardly be overestimated. If passed by the state House, Governor Dannel Malloy has promised to sign the measure, which would make Connecticut the first state in the nation to offer paid sick days, a major step forward for public health and worker rights. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research has pointed out, the United States remains the only one of 22 top industrialized countries that fails to guarantee sick workers some form of paid sick leave.  […]
        A report released in 2010 from the Institute for Women's Policy Research in Washington, D.C., shows that implementing a paid sick leave bill would actually save Connecticut businesses nearly $73 million each year in reduced workforce turnover and the prevention of communicable diseases such as influenza.  […]
        If enacted, paid sick leave legislation would send the message that employees deserve to be treated like human beings when they (or their families) are sick, and that giving them the time to recover is the civilized thing to do, instead of having to come to work sick, and endanger the health of their co-workers.
        Due to the hard work of thousands of Connecticut residents, and the efforts of diligent Democratic legislators (and one brave Republican legislator, John Kissel), paid sick leave legislation is close to becoming a reality. Residents of the Nutmeg State should be proud to enact such common sense progressive legislation that benefits employers and employees alike.

    Friday - Toss Me a Flotation Device

    02 June 2011

    "ICYMI Thursdays" Part 2 - Rats Deserting The Ship

    Former Libyan Oil Minister Defects to Italy
    Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)
    Wednesday, June 01, 2011
    Former Libyan oil minister Shokri Ghanem defected to Italy on Wednesday, telling journalists in Rome that he could no longer work in the current situation in his county.

    Ghanem, who used to represent Libya at OPEC, said he was joining the rebels fighting Moamer Gaddafi.

    He said he wanted to work for democracy in his country.

    On Tuesday, eight Libyan military officers, including five generals, appeared in Rome to say they were part of a group of up to 120 military officials defecting from Gaddafi's regime.

    "ICYMI Thursdays" - Technology Meets Health

    If you haven't been following it, the New Haven Independent has been publishing a terrific series on nanotechnology and the latest article by Gwyneth K. Shaw, contains a great synopsis of the subject:

    Nanotechnology leverages super-small particles (a nanometer is a billionth of a meter) to create products with amazing properties. These materials can make better batteries or lighter and stronger bike frames, as well as new medical instruments and medicines that can save lives.

    These "nanomaterials" are believed to hold great promise for a wide variety of applications. But shrinking these substances can change their properties, and scientists are struggling to figure out whether, how and why that shift can make them dangerous in the process.

    Ms. Shaw's article from earlier this week gives an explanation that ties together diverse issues: consumables which employ nanotechnology + product labeling issues + aesthetics leading to unnecessary design adaptation + +

    Physical sun blockers like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have been in use for decades, but were less attractive because they were opaque when applied (think the classic white blaze on a lifeguard’s nose).

    Shrinking them to the nanoscale makes them go on clear, a big selling point for anyone who’s not interested in looking like a mime. But what does that change do?

    Researchers from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration found that nano-sized titanium dioxide didn’t get into the bloodstream of laboratory pigs when they were slathered with sunscreen. A scientist in Australia, however, found that mini-particles of zinc oxide did get into the blood, albeit at minuscule levels.

    Hmmm....chemicals leeching into the bloodstream? Sounds kinda not so good .
    Check out the article, Some Sunscreens Have A New Mini-Secret, and backtrack on the series if you missed it.

    01 June 2011

    Paying Attention: What Happened in Wisconsin didn’t Start in Wisconsin

    Cleaning up the archives, I discovered several interesting articles from the semi-recent past.

    It seems there actually is* a “shadow government”, as my friend Jim always maintained. (We used to tease him that the Shadow Government was ineffectual due to being bogged down in Shadow Red Tape.)

    The Shadow Government includes those who write, propose, fund and promote their own self-serving laws and initiatives. Unfortunately for me, the groups behind the S. G. are not the lefties. Left Curb politics is championed by the Known Knowns: Democracy for America, Move On, Progressive Democrats of America, etc. Not one secret organization among the bunch. With Transparency as the flag of the Left, we are constantly out-maneuvered by the secrecy and long-range plans of the Right.

    So: ALEC -- American Legislative Exchange Council -- Click here for ALEC home page

    I offer, from the archives (Just who's writing Wyoming's laws? Casper Star Tribune, 2006), the tip of the iceberg:
    When you watch government officials, it’s a good idea to follow the money. In ALEC’s case, the trail is pretty clear. A state legislator pays only $50 a year to join. Corporate sponsors put up $5,000 to $50,000 -- for which they are privileged to write “model” laws that ALEC distributes to legislators nationwide. Legislators attend ALEC's conventions in touristy locales, where they rub elbows with the corporate benefactors who subsidize the whole shebang.

    Current local aspect: Board of Directors member and Second Vice Chairman:
    Rep. John Piscopo, Connecticut (Burlington, Harwinton, Litchfield and Thomaston)

    Current State Chairmen:
    Rep. DebraLee Hovey (Monroe and Newtown)
    Sen. Kevin D. Witkos (Avon, Simsbury, Canton, New Hartford, Barkhamsted, Hartland, Colebrook, Norfolk, Granby, Torrington, and Harwinton)

    Plus, in my archives, I found an article from 2002 that gives details on the maneuvers of ALEC:

    Ghostwriting the Law
    Indeed, lawmakers sometimes have no idea that they are voting on bills that have been drafted by industry. Fred Bosse, a Democrat in the Texas House, says he discovered ALEC's pro-business bias when he attended one of the group's conferences. "I saw that one of the talks was on the greenhouse effect, which was one of the issues I've always been interested in," he recalls. "There was this professor from someplace, and the theme of his talk was that the greenhouse effect is nothing but a scam being advanced by environmental terrorists to destroy business in America."

    And sometimes they don’t care.
    And then there is Wisconsin 2011
    The ALEC acronym has appeared in numerous articles and blogs pertaining to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his agenda to end collective bargaining rights for unions -- and not only in Wisconsin. The similar bills - some even more extreme than Wisconsin's - in states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Maine, all include very well organized and very closely worded bills that mirror the "model bills" of ALEC.[16] Although varying in the degree of severity, these bills have the common denominator of corporatizing state government.

    Click here for more info and the tie-in to Wisconsin

    Follow the Money, Archive everything, Fight the Power
    "...we don't know the game. What we need is awareness, we can't get careless..."
    Isley Brothers: Good Sound, for background, just a screenshot of the album cover.

    The Live Video has bad sound.