Posts Tagged ‘US’

This is something that the gay community completely forgets and to be honest it is PISSING ME OFF!

Rightly so, people are so concerned about gay marriage, but they forget the 40,000+ bi-national couples that gay marriage does jack shit for.

When a gay couple get married in one of those states that allow it, they do NOT get the 1500+ federal rights that heterosexuals get, one of those rights is immigration.

So who is fighting to get those rights?

Immigration Equality is a national organization that works to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law, to reduce the negative impact of that law on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive people, and to help obtain asylum for those persecuted in their home country based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or HIV-status. Through education, outreach, advocacy, and the maintenance of a nationwide network of resources, we provide information and support to advocates, attorneys, politicians and those who are threatened by persecution or the discriminatory impact of the law.

I urge you all to go to their website, check out the action center, some of the things you can do to help will take you 2 minutes and will cost you NOTHING!

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‘Party’ Drug Could be PTSD Treatment

March 04, 2009
Military.com|by Bryan Mitchell
If you discovered it in your kid’s room there’d be hell to pay. If it appeared in a random urinalysis, it could end your career. And if you told your friends you were considering taking it, they might think you’ve suffered a mid-life crisis.

But a South Carolina psychiatrist and a Harvard-educated researcher are looking for veterans who’ve been through hell and are willing to explore a fresh way of getting past the trauma using a drug long associated with the late-night party crowd.

Ecstasy, clinically known as MDMA and outlawed recreationally for decades, is making a gradual comeback in the medical community as therapists rediscover its therapeutic value – especially in dealing with post traumatic stress disorder.

“I heard about it and I decided to give it a try,” said a former Army Ranger who was one of two veterans who participated in a recent study on the effects of Ecstasy for treating PTSD. “It’s an extremely positive thing. I feel so lucky that I got to take part in the project.

“It’s basically like years of therapy in two or three hours. You can’t understand it until you’ve experienced it.”

Michael Mithoefer, a former emergency room physician turned psychiatrist, and Rick Doblin, who founded an organization to study the role of psychedelic drugs in society, are lobbying the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans suffering from PTSD to take part in their unconventional research.

Mithoefer works with his wife, Ann, out of their Mount Pleasant, S.C., office helping victims of serious trauma overcome their anguish.

With support from Doblin, the couple successfully petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to allow them to test the effects of the drug on people who suffered from PTSD. They recently completed their first round of testing, with promising results.

“This is very exciting for us and I am very hopeful that other people can replicate the results,” Mithoefer said.

“I have to stress that this is a lot different than getting a prescription for MDMA. We don’t see it ever working like that,” Mithoefer added. “You’ll have to take it in specialized clinics. No one will get to take it home.”

In the latest round of testing, 21 patients took the drug a handful of times throughout an extended period of psychiatric treatment. It’s administered under a strict set of conditions and always under close supervision by medical professionals.

Mithoefer and Doblin are not fly-by-night crackpots promising an overnight cure of a serious condition with a magic pill.

“It’s been approved by the FDA and Harvard. We have evidence of its safety and evidence of its efficacy,” Doblin said. “We’ve shown that we can help Soldiers deal with their trauma.”

Medical, military uses

MDMA has an interesting history. Developed by the pharmaceutical firm Merck in 1912, it was widely used in private psychiatric settings in the 1950s and ‘60s. The Army experimented with it briefly in its search for mind control drugs, Doblin said.

It induces feelings of extended euphoria — hence the name ecstasy — as well as heightened awareness and a greater connection to emotions.

But it was embraced by the counter-culture of the late 1960s, and by the 1980s it was competing with cocaine as the most popular party drug. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration had it classified as a “Schedule I” drug, alongside LSD and heroine.

“It was really a shame because we were only beginning to understand its potential for medical treatment” when it was criminalized, Doblin said. “With drugs like this, there is a lot of misconception. … They are like the surgeon’s knife: If they are used properly, they can heal. If they are used poorly, they can kill.”

The research project began with people suffering from PTSD who were victims of crime – rape and childhood sexual abuse were the most common – and only recently expanded to veterans.

The former Army Ranger, who spoke to Military.com on the condition of anonymity because he continues to work for private military contractors, and a former Marine officer were the first veterans to participate.

Both served in Iraq and suffered moderately severe PTSD – re-experiencing the initial trauma, sleeplessness, flashbacks and nightmares – before participating in the program.

“I didn’t want to be part of this ‘Prozac nation.’ I know some of those people and they don’t feel up or down or anything all. They aren’t really living,” the former Ranger said.

“I think it’s especially helpful for Soldiers, or someone who comes from a hard or tough background, because this is just the opposite,” the Ranger said. “It’s a soft, compassionate loving drug. You lie down, listen to some relaxing music and can really connect with your emotions.”

Both Doblin and Mithoefer said they were rebuffed by VA officials when they requested help in recruiting patients for the study. A VA spokeswoman told Military.com the department has no record of requests to treat PTSD patients with MDMA.

But the former Ranger said he’s confident the VA will explore it as an option once word of the treatment’s success spreads.

“For me, I moved past those troubles and on to other things, and I couldn’t have done it without [Mithoefer’s] help,” he said. “If it helps Soldiers like me recover, they’re going to have to look at it seriously.”

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This proves that Americans really are stupid as they show just how uneducated they really are.  We rank in the bottom half of the world when it comes to knowing geography.

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This should have you concerned if you believe what they are saying.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that food prices continue to rise, not fall, and this may well be the reason why.



*****Catastrophic Fall in 2009 Global Food Production***** – marketskeptics.com

by Eric deCarbonnel


After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world

To understand the depth of the food Catastrophe that faces the world this year, consider the graphic below depicting countries by USD value of their agricultural output, as of 2006.

Now, consider the same graphic with the countries experiencing droughts highlighted.

The countries that make up two thirds of the world’s agricultural output are experiencing drought conditions. Whether you watch a video of the drought in China, Australia, Africa, South America, or the US, the scene will be the same: misery, ruined crop, and dying cattle.


The drought in Northern China, the worst in 50 years, is worsening, and summer harvest is now threatened. The area of affected crops has expanded to 161 million mu (was 141 million last week), and 4.37 million people and 2.1 million livestock are facing drinking water shortage. The scarcity of rain in some parts of the north and central provinces is the worst in recorded history.

The drought which started in November threatens over half the wheat crop in eight provinces – Hebei, Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, Shaanxi and Gansu.

China’s largest crop producing province, Henan, has issued the highest-level drought warning. Henan has received an average rainfall of 10.5 millimeters since November 2008, almost 80 percent less than in the same period in the previous years. The Henan drought, which began in November, is the most severe since 1951.

Anhui Province issued a red drought alert, with more than 60 percent of the crops north of the Huaihe River plagued by a major drought.

Shanxi Province was put on orange drought alert on Jan. 21, with one million people and 160,000 heads of livestock are facing water shortage.

Jiangsu province has already lost over one fifth of the wheat crops affected by drought. Local agricultural departments are diverting water from nearby rivers in an emergency effort to save the rest.

Over 100 million cubic meters of water has been channeled in from outside the province to fight Hebei’s drought.

1.34 million acres of crops across the bone-dry Shanxi province are affected by the worsening drought.

Since last November, Shandong province has experienced 73 percent less rain than the same period in previous years, with little rainfall forecast for the future.

Relief efforts are under way. The Chinese government has allocated 86.7 billion yuan (about $12.69 billion) to drought-hit areas. Authorities have also resorted to cloud-seeding, and some areas received a sprinkling of rain after clouds were hit with 2,392 rockets and 409 cannon shells loaded with chemicals. However, there is a limit to what can be done in the face of such widespread water shortage.

As I have previously written, China is facing hyperinflation, and this record drought will make things worse. China produces 18% of the world’s grain each year.


Australia has been experiencing an unrelenting drought since 2004, and 41 percent of Australia’s agriculture continues to suffer from the worst drought in 117 years of record-keeping. The drought has been so severe that rivers stopped flowing, lakes turned toxic, and farmers abandoned their land in frustration:

A) The Murray River stopped flowing at its terminal point, and its mouth has closed up.
B) Australia’s lower lakes are evaporating, and they are now a meter (3.2 feet) below sea level. If these lakes evaporate any further, the soil and the mud system below the water is going to be exposed to the air. The mud will then acidify, releasing sulfuric acid and a whole range of heavy metals. After this occurs, those lower lake systems will essentially become a toxic swamp which will never be able to be recovered. The Australian government’s only options to prevent this are to allow salt water in, creating a dead sea, or to pray for rain.

For some reason, the debate over climate change is essentially over in Australia.

The United States

California is facing its worst drought in recorded history. The drought is predicted to be the most severe in modern times, worse than those in 1977 and 1991. Thousands of acres of row crops already have been fallowed, with more to follow. The snowpack in the Northern Sierra, home to some of the state’s most important reservoirs, proved to be just 49 percent of average. Water agencies throughout the state are scrambling to adopt conservation mandates.

The Texan drought is reaching historic proportion. Dry conditions near Austin and San Antonio have been exceeded only once before—the drought of 1917-18. 88 percent of Texas is experiencing abnormally dry conditions, and 18 percent of the state is in either extreme or exceptional drought conditions. The drought areas have been expanding almost every month. Conditions in Texas are so bad cattle are keeling over in parched pastures and dying. Lack of rainfall has left pastures barren, and cattle producers have resorted to feeding animals hay. Irreversible damage has been done to winter wheat crops in Texas. Both short and long-term forecasts don’t call for much rain at all, which means the Texas drought is set to get worse.

Augusta Region (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina)
The Augusta region has been suffering from a worsening two year drought. Augusta’s rainfall deficit is already approaching 2 inches so far in 2009, with January being the driest since 1989.

Florida has been hard hit by winter drought, damaging crops, and half of state is in some level of a drought.

La Niña likely to make matters worse
Enough water a couple of degrees cooler than normal has accumulated in the eastern part of the Pacific to create a La Niña, a weather pattern expected to linger until at least the spring. La Niña generally means dry weather for Southern states, which is exactly what the US doesn’t need right now.

South America

The worst drought in half a century has turned Argentina’s once-fertile soil to dust and pushed the country into a state of emergency. Cow carcasses litter the prairie fields, and sun-scorched soy plants wither under the South American summer sun. Argentina’s food production is set to go down a minimum of 50 percent, maybe more. The country’s wheat yield for 2009 will be 8.7 million metric tons, down from 16.3 million in 2008. Concern with domestic shortages (domestic wheat consumption being approximately 6.7 million metric ton), Argentina has granted no new export applications since mid January.

Brazil has cut its outlook for the crops and will do so again after assessing damage to plants from desiccation in drought-stricken regions. Brazil is the world’s second-biggest exporter of soybeans and third-largest for corn. 

Brazil’s numbers for corn harvesting:

Harvested in 2008: 58.7 million tons
January 8 forecast: 52.3 million tons
February 6 forecast: 50.3 metric tons (optimistic)
Harvested in 2009: ???

Severe drought affecting Paraguay’s economy has pushed the government to declare agricultural emergency. Crops that have direct impact on cattle food are ruined, and the soy plantations have been almost totally lost in some areas.

Uruguay declared an “agriculture emergency” last month, due to the worst drought in decades which is threatening crops, livestock and the provision of fresh produce.
The a worsening drought is pushing up food and beverage costs causing Uruguay’s consumer prices to rise at the fastest annual pace in more than four years in January.

There hasn’t been a drop of rain in Bolivia in nearly a year. Cattle dying, crops ruined, etc…

The severe drought affecting Chile has caused an agricultural emergency in 50 rural districts, and large sectors of the economy are concerned about possible electricity rationing in March. The countries woes stem from the “La Niña” climate phenomenon which has over half of Chile dangling by a thread: persistently cold water in the Pacific ocean along with high atmospheric pressure are preventing rain-bearing fronts from entering central and southern areas of the country. As a result, the water levels at hydroelectric dams and other reservoirs are at all-time lows.

Horn of Africa

Africa faces food shortages and famine. Food production across the Horn of Africa has suffered because of the lack of rainfall. Also, half the agricultural soil has lost nutrients necessary to grow plant, and the declining soil fertility across Africa is exacerbating drought related crop losses.

Kenya is the worst hit nation in the region, having been without rainfall for 18 months. Kenya needs to import food to bridge a shortfall and keep 10 million of its people from starvation. Kenya’s drought suffering neighbors will be of little help.

A poor harvest due to drought has prompted Tanzania to stop issuing food export permits. Tanzania has also intensified security at the border posts to monitor and prevent the export of food. There are 240,000 people in need of immediate relief food in Tanzania.

Crops in the north of Burundi have withered, leaving the tiny East African country facing a severe food shortage

Severe drought in northeastern Uganda’s Karamoja region has the left the country on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. The dry conditions and acute food shortages, which have left Karamoja near starvation, are unlikely to improve before October when the next harvest is due.

South Africa
South Africa faces a potential crop shortage after wheat farmers in the eastern part of the Free State grain belt said they were likely to produce their lowest crop in 30 years this year. South Africans are “extremely angry” that food prices continue to rise.

Other African nations suffering from drought in 2009 are: Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tunisia, Angola, and Ethiopia.

Middle East and Central Asia

The Middle East and Central Asia are suffering from the worst droughts in recent history, and food grain production has dropped to some of the lowest levels in decades. Total wheat production in the wider drought-affected region is currently estimated to have declined by at least 22 percent in 2009. Owing to the drought’s severity and region-wide scope, irrigation supplies from reservoirs, rivers, and groundwater have been critically reduced. Major reservoirs in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria are all at low levels requiring restrictions on usage. Given the severity of crop losses in the region, a major shortage of planting seed for the 2010 crop is expected.

In Iraq during the winter grain growing period, there was essentially no measurable rainfall in many regions, and large swaths of rain-fed fields across northern Iraq simply went unplanted. These primarily rain-fed regions in northern Iraq are described as an agricultural disaster area this year, with wheat production falling 80-98 percent from normal levels. The USDA estimates total wheat production in Iraq in 2009 at 1.3 million tons, down 45 percent from last year.

Syria is experienced its worst drought in the past 18 years, and the USDA estimates total wheat production in Syria in 2009 at 2.0 million tons, down 50 percent from last year. Last summer, the taps ran dry in many neighborhoods of Damascus and residents of the capital city were forced to buy water on the black market. The severe lack of rain this winter has exacerbated the problem.

Lack of rainfall has led Afghanistan to the worst drought conditions in the past 10 years. The USDA estimates 2008/09 wheat production in Afghanistan at 1.5 million tons, down 2.3 million or 60 percent from last year. Afghanistan normally produces 3.5-4.0 million tons of wheat annually.

Jordan’s persistent drought has grown worse, with almost no rain falling on the kingdom this year. The Jordanian government has stopped pumping water to farms to preserve the water for drinking purposes.

Other Middle Eastern and Central Asian nations suffering from drought in 2009 are: The Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Israel, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Cyprus, and Iran.

Lack of credit will worsen food shortage

A lack of credit for farmers curbed their ability to buy seeds and fertilizers in 2008/2009 and will limit production around the world. The effects of droughts worldwide will also be amplified by the smaller amount of seeds and fertilizers used to grow crops.

Low commodity prices will worsen food shortage

The low prices at the end of 2008 discouraged the planting of new crops in 2009. In Kansas for example, farmers seeded nine million acres, the smallest planting for half a century. Wheat plantings this year are down about 4 million acres across the US and about 1.1 million acres in Canada. So even discounting drought related losses, the US, Canada, and other food producing nations are facing lower agricultural output in 2009.

Europe will not make up for the food shortfall

Europe, the only big agricultural region relatively unaffected by drought, is set for a big drop in food production. Due to the combination of a late plantings, poorer soil conditions, reduced inputs, and light rainfall, Europe’s agricultural output is likely to fall by 10 to 15 percent.

Stocks of foodstuff are dangerously low

Low stocks of foodstuff make the world’s falling agriculture output particularly worrisome. The combined averaged of the ending stock levels of the major trading countries of Australia, Canada, United States, and the European Union have been declining steadily in the last few years:

2002-2005: 47.4 million tons
2007: 37.6 million tons
2008: 27.4 million tons

These inventory numbers are dangerously low, especially considering the horrifying possibility that China’s 60 million tons of grain reserves doesn’t actually exists.

Global food Catastrophe

The world is heading for a drop in agricultural production of 20 to 40 percent, depending on the severity and length of the current global droughts. Food producing nations are imposing food export restrictions. Food prices will soar, and, in poor countries with food deficits, millions will starve.

The deflation debate should end now

The droughts plaguing the world’s biggest agricultural regions should end the debate about deflation in 2009. The demand for agricultural commodities is relatively immune to developments in the business cycles (at least compared to that of energy or base metals), and, with a 20 to 40 percent decline in world production, already rising food prices are headed significantly higher.

In fact, agricultural commodities NEED to head higher and soon, to prevent even greater food shortages and famine. The price of wheat, corn, soybeans, etc must rise to a level which encourages the planting of every available acre with the best possible fertilizers. Otherwise, if food prices stay at their current levels, production will continue to fall, sentencing millions more to starvation.

Competitive currency appreciation

Some observers are anticipating “competitive currency devaluations” in addition to deflation for 2009 (nations devalue their currencies to help their export sector). The coming global food shortage makes this highly unlikely. Depreciating their currency in the current environment will produce the unwanted consequence of boosting exports—of food. Even with export restrictions like those in China, currency depreciation would cause the outflow of significant quantities of grain via the black market.

Instead of “competitive currency devaluations”, spiking food prices will likely cause competitive currency appreciation in 2009. Foreign exchange reserves exist for just this type of emergency. Central banks around the world will lower domestic food prices by either directly selling off their reserves to appreciate their currencies or by using them to purchase grain on the world market.

Appreciating a currency is the fastest way to control food inflation. A more valuable currency allows a nation to monopolize more global resources (ie: the overvalued dollar allows the US to consume 25% of the world’s oil despite having only 4% of the world’s population). If China were to selloff its US reserves, its enormous population would start sucking up the world’s food supply like the US has been doing with oil.

On the flip side, when a nation appreciates its currency and starts consuming more of the world’s resources, it leaves less for everyone else. So when china appreciates the yuan, food shortages worldwide will increase and prices everywhere else will jump upwards. As there is nothing that breeds social unrest like soaring food prices, nations around the world, from Russia, to the EU, to Saudi Arabia, to India, will sell off their foreign reserves to appreciate their currencies and reduce the cost of food imports. In response to this, China will sell even more of its reserves and so on. That is competitive currency appreciation.

When faced with competitive currency appreciation, you do NOT want to be the world’s reserve currency. The dollar is likely to do very poorly as central banks liquidate trillions in US holdings to buy food and appreciate their currencies.


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This seems to be growing momentum since the defeat of Proposition 8 in CA.  I wonder who comes up with these lame-brain ideas?  Yes, let’s get the IRS all over us for not reporting/paying in our taxes.  If you get a return of money, you sure as hell are not going to protest!  Come on everyone!  Use your fucking heads, and come up with something better than this taxing proposal!

Gay tax revolt grows
by Matthew S. Bajko
Bay Area Reporter – edgeboston.com
Sunday Nov 23, 2008

Melissa Etheridge has written that she will not pay her state taxes in the wake of Prop 8’s passage.
Melissa Etheridge has written that she will not pay her state taxes in the wake of Prop 8’s passage.    (Source:Becky Sapp/Berliner Studio)

The stripping of marriage rights from same-sex couples in California is giving renewed attention to calls for a national gay tax protest.

A handful of LGBT activists have refused to pay any state or federal income taxes for several years now. They argue that since they are not treated equally under the law as their heterosexual neighbors, they should not have to fork over the money they owe to state or federal governments.

Their protest has largely gone unnoticed or unheeded by the majority of LGBT Americans – until now.

Two days after the passage of Proposition 8, the anti-gay constitutional amendment California voters passed November 4 that bans gays and lesbians from marrying in the Golden State, lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge penned a posting on the Daily Beast blog titled “You can forget my taxes.”

She wrote that she would be withholding the half a million dollars she owes the state in taxes this year and urged other LGBT people to do the same.

Because she and her wife, Tammy Lynn Michaels, are no longer afforded the same rights as other Californians under the state constitution, Etheridge wrote that, “Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.”

Etheridge’s stance has led to the creation of a Facebook group called “I will join Melissa Ethridge [sic] in refusing to pay CA taxes until I can marry!” San Francisco resident Emily Drennen, a bisexual who this summer married her wife, Lindasusan Ulrich, created the page.

Drennen did not respond to a request for comment. On the Facebook page she wrote, “Singer Melissa Etheridge rails against the passage of the same-sex marriage ban in California – and she won’t be paying the state a dime. This group is for Californian LGBTQI citizens and our allies who pledge to withhold paying our 2008 taxes unless our marriage rights are restored.”

As of Tuesday, only 19 people had signed up, many being residents of other states.

In July of this year John Bisceglia started writing at http://www.gaytaxprotest.blogspot.com/ about the idea for a national tax equality protest on April 15, 2009. The Bellingham, Washington resident wrote that he used to pay his taxes until he divorced his partner in 2005 and saw how the law mistreated gay couples.

In a statement he released in August, Bisceglia said he had “reached his limit” and would withhold his tax filings until the federal government grants all LGBT Americans and their children the 1,400-plus legal rights and protections civil marriage affords.

“The federal government’s discrimination against LGBT families is an abomination; it is cruel to deny our families a marriage certificate while simultaneously doling them out like candy to heterosexuals,” he stated. “My hope is that those in the LGBT community with substantial income demand their long overdue rights by taking a stand for justice, for society, and for equality for all Americans.”

Palm Springs resident Charles Merrill stopped paying his federal and state taxes four years ago after President Bush urged in his State of the Union speech for Congress to pass a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution. At the time he and his partner of 18 years, Kevin Boyle, were living on a farm in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.

Two years ago they moved to California and married this year. He has continued to withhold his federal and state income taxes and is suing the Internal Revenue Service. His lawsuit, Merrill vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, is scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Tax Court in San Diego sometime in 2009.

“My hope is that those in the LGBT community with substantial income demand their long overdue rights by taking a stand for justice, for society, and for equality for all Americans.”

Merrill, 75, is a cousin to the founder of Merrill Lynch & Co. He applauded Etheridge for shining a national spotlight on the gay tax protest. In an interview this week, he said he would gladly pay his taxes, but not before he is afforded the same rights as straight taxpayers.

“I want to pay taxes but I want to pay them as everyone else, not as a second-class citizen,” said Merrill. “I am really doing this for the 18,000 couples who got married in California and are denied all those rights.”

Should the tax protest snowball into a national movement, he said it would send a strong signal to President-elect Barack Obama to maintain his campaign pledge to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which has been used to justify discriminating against same-sex couples. Merrill noted that in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is still legal, and California prior to Election Day nearly 30,000 gay and lesbian couples have married, with more exchanging vows in Connecticut now that that state has enacted same-sex marriage.

At a time when governments are hurting for money, a gay tax revolt would have an impact, argued Merrill.

“I think it would be a wake-up call to President-elect Obama to get started on this, these promises he made us. It could turn into a economic problem if enough gays and lesbians stop paying taxes,” he said. “It is not extortion or anything, just a reminder of what he said he was going to do.”

Not everyone is jumping onto the tax protest bandwagon. Asked about Etheridge’s comments by Joy Behar last week on CNN, lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon said withholding her tax payments is “something I am not going to do.”

The Human Rights Campaign has not taken any official stance for or against the idea.

“The beauty of our movement is that people get the choice to practice civil disobedience in whatever way they wish,” said spokesman Brad Luna. “Obviously, we would encourage people to understand their personal responsibility that comes with practicing that civil disobedience. Nonetheless, we understand people are going to protest these anti-LGBT measures in their own way.”

Fred Karger, the founder of Californians Against Hate, which has organized against Prop 8, also took a measured stance when asked if he supported a gay tax revolt.

“I am supportive of every legal approach to get our equal rights. Certainly laws could be questioned and people can protest however they want to. It is a personal decision,” said Karger, who said he had no intention of not paying his own taxes. “You got a lot of angry people out there.”

An e-mail seeking comment from state Board of Equalization member Betty Yee was not returned by press time.

Of course anyone opting to join the tax revolt should take precautions should the taxman cometh.

Merrill said he has squirreled away the taxes he should have paid over the last four years in case of the day when he is ordered to hand over the money. He also does not own property and said he has moved a large part of his savings into gold coins, which are hidden away in a secret location – even his partner does not know the whereabouts.

“I put those in a private place that nobody could attack them,” he said.

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First, it was FEMA handing out an overwhelming number of trailers with high levels of formeldehyde in them well after Hurricane Katrina had hit the south.  Now, they are handing out food rations for ice storm victims with tainted and recalled peanut butter.  It’s nice to know that FEMA is always right on top of everything!  We sure can count on them to fuck things up no matter what the circumstance may be!

Recalled peanut butter in meals distributed by FEMA

February 4, 2009
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FEMA reports emergency meal kits given to storm victims in Kentucky and Arkansas may contain peanut butter involved in a nationwide recall.

The recall features meals made under the standing rock label.

The meals come with of a variety of main courses.

Nothing is wrong with the meals themselves.

However, packets of peanut butter that come with the meal may contain salmonella.

FEMA spokesman Thomas R. Hegele says, “I wouldn’t be concerned about it, but if they have any doubts about it, don’t eat that part.”

Hegele says he’s confident the rest of the food in the meals kids is safe.

People who have received commercial meal kits are asked to inspect the kits and immediately dispose of any peanut butter packets.

For more information call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).

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I’ve dealt with the U.S. Customs Border Security, and I have no problem stating that they are absolute pricks!  But something done 40 years ago?  I guess the guards have nothing better to do than harrass incoming American and Canadian citizens.  Why don’t we just build a big wall to keep them out like we’re doing along the Mexican border?!  Fucking retards!

Hook Logo News Today: Tuesday, February 3, 2009

LSD as Therapy? Write about It, Get Barred from US Andrew Feldmar.  Photo by C. Grabowski.

BC psychotherapist denied entry after border guard googled his work. By Linda Solomon Published: April 23, 2007.  Andrew Feldmar, a well-known Vancouver psychotherapist, rolled up to the Blaine border crossing last summer as he had hundreds of times in his career. At 66, his gray hair, neat beard, and rimless glasses give him the look of a seasoned intellectual. He handed his passport to the U.S. border guard and relaxed, thinking he would soon be with an old friend in Seattle. The border guard turned to his computer and googled “Andrew Feldmar.” The psychotherapist’s world was about to turn upside down. Born in Hungary to Jewish parents as the Nazis were rising to power, Feldmar was hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust when he was three years old, after his parents were condemned to Auschwitz. Miraculously, his parents both returned alive and in 1945 Hungary was liberated by the Russian army. Feldmar escaped from communist Hungary in 1956 when he was 16 and immigrated to Canada. He has been married to Meredith Feldmar, an artist, for 37 years, and they live in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. They have two children, Soma, 33, who lives in Denver, and Marcel, 36, a resident of L.A. Highly respected in his field, Feldmar has been travelling to the U.S. for work and to see his family five or six times a year. He has worked for the UN, in Sarajevo and in Minsk with Chernobyl victims. The Blaine border guard explained that Feldmar had been pulled out of the line as part of a random search. He seemed friendly, even as he took away Feldmar’s passport and car keys. While the contents of his car were being searched, Feldmar and the officer talked. He asked Feldmar what profession he was in. When Feldmar said he was psychologist, the official typed his name into his Internet search engine. Before long the customs guard was engrossed in an article Feldmar had published in the spring 2001 issue of the journal Janus Head. The article concerned an acid trip Feldmar had taken in London, Ontario, and another in London, England, almost forty years ago. It also alluded to the fact that he had used hallucinogenics as a “path” to understanding self and that in certain cases, he reflected, it could “be preferable to psychiatry.” Everything seemed to collapse around him, as a quiet day crossing the border began to turn into a nightmare. Fingerprints for FBI He was told to sit down on a folding chair and for hours he wondered where this was going. He checked his watch and thought hopelessly of his friend who was about to land at the Seattle airport. Three hours later, the official motioned him into a small, barren room with an American flag. He was sitting on one side and Feldmar was on the other. The official said that under the Homeland Security Act, Feldmar was being denied entry due to “narcotics” use. LSD is not a narcotic substance, Feldmar tried to explain, but an entheogen. The guard wasn’t interested in technicalities. He asked for a statement from Feldmar admitting to having used LSD and he fingerprinted Feldmar for an FBI file. ADVERTISEMENT Help grow The Tyee and spread the word to your friends. Then Feldmar disbelievingly listened as he learned that he was being barred from ever entering the United States again. The officer told him he could apply to the Department of Homeland Security for a waiver, if he wished, and gave him a package, with the forms. The border guard then escorted him to his car and made sure he did a U-turn and went back to Canada.

Read more of the article here:  http://thetyee.ca/News/2007/04/23/Feldmar/

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