New Jersey Senate panel approves trans and intersex birth certificate bill


short birth certificate front

short birth certificate front (Photo credit: crabchick)

Ashlee Kelly | Gay Star News | December 14, 2013


A New Jersey state Senate panel has approved a bill which would allow the state’s health department to issue new birth certificates to intersex or trans people who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery.


Since 1984, the law in New Jersey required trans people undergo GRS before they could be issued a new birth certificate to match their gender.


The new bill would require people to undergo ‘clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition’, which means trans people who simply opt for hormone replacement therapy will be able to apply for a change in birth certificate.


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University of North Carolina athletes support gay teammates

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James Withers | Gay Star News | December 14, 2013

A number of University of North Carolina students are taking a stand for inclusion on the sports field.

Players from the school’s basketball, diving fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, swimming, softball, soccer, tennis, and track and field teams recorded a video for the You Can Play project to raise awareness of changing attitudes to LGBTI athletes in sport.

The message was simple. Bring skills to the field, and no one will care about sexuality.

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Elizabeth Warren, Third Way and the Battle Over American Liberalism

This photo is from the Time 100 Gala - read ho...

This photo is from the Time 100 Gala – read how I feel about Elizabeth Warren. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Joshua Holland | Moyers & Company | Reader Supported News | December 14, 2013

ince Barack Obama’s election, Democrats have been united by an increasingly reactionary oppposition. But beneath that veneer of tranquility, longstanding  political and philosophical differences over the role the government should play in our economy continue to divide Clintonian “New Democrats” from those who embrace a more traditional New Deal style of liberalism. Many observers expect that a day of reckoning between these groups is coming as we approach the 2016 elections.

The contours of that debate are already being drawn. Last week, Third Way – a “centrist” Democratic group with a board of trustees full of Wall Streeters – attacked proposals to expand Social Security and warned Democrats against adopting a “populist” economic agenda. That led to a high-profile dustup with Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

On Tuesday, Chuck Lane echoed Third Way’s argument in The Washington Post, writing, “[d]eeply invested in the individualistic “American dream,” and deeply divided by race, ethnicity and religion, Americans have proven less susceptible to class-based economic appeals than voters in other nations.”

At The New Republic, Alec MacGillis sees things differently

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Noted Whistleblowers Speak Up for Edward Snowden


whistleblower (Photo credit: ElectronicFrontierFoundation)

Thomas Drake, Daniel Ellsberg, Katharine Gun, Peter Kofod, Ray McGovern, Jesselyn Radack and Coleen Rowley | Guardian UK | Reader Supported News | December 14, 2013

Blowing the whistle on powerful factions is not a fun thing to do, but it is the last avenue for truth, balanced debate and democracy

t least since the aftermath of September 2001, western governments and intelligence agencies have been hard at work expanding the scope of their own power, while eroding privacy, civil liberties and public control of policy. What used to be viewed as paranoid, Orwellian, tin-foil hat fantasies turned out post-Snowden, to be not even the whole story.

What’s really remarkable is that we’ve been warned for years that these things were going on: wholesale surveillance of entire populations, militarization of the internet, the end of privacy. All is done in the name of “national security”, which has more or less become a chant to fence off debate and make sure governments aren’t held to account – that they can’t be held to account – because everything is being done in the dark. Secret laws, secret interpretations of secret laws by secret courts and no effective parliamentary oversight whatsoever.

By and large the media have paid scant attention to this, even as more and more courageous, principled whistleblowers stepped forward. The unprecedented persecution of truth-tellers, initiated by the Bush administration and severely accelerated by the Obama administration, has been mostly ignored, while record numbers of well-meaning people are charged with serious felonies simply for letting their fellow citizens know what’s going on.

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The Wild and Cruel Gap Between Debtors and Creditors

English: Independent presidential candidate Ra...

English: Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaking at a campaign event in Waterbury, CT at 195 Grand St. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ralph Nader | The Nader Page | Reader Supported News | December 14, 2013

he word “inequality” is much in vogue these days. We hear almost daily about the inequality of wealth, income and wages between the richest top 2 or 3 percent of people and the majority of the country’s wage earners. But not much attention is given and not many marches and other protests are addressing the huge inequalities between creditors and debtors.

Of course the aforementioned inequalities, especially of wages and income, worsen the plight of individual debtors. One more distinction needs to be made – that between corporate debtors who receive many favored legal entitlements (even in bankruptcy) and individual debtors who are slammed and harassed by debt collectors.

Start with the Federal Reserve’s low-interest policy of the last five years with no end in sight. Savers who used to get interest of 4 to 5 percent from their bank or money market now get, if they are lucky, ¼ of one percent on their savings. This Fed policy is supposed to stimulate the economy but doesn’t work very well if there is not enough consumer demand in a recession to attract new investment. Meanwhile, the hundreds of billions of dollars held by small, middle to low income savers are generating no interest to help pay their living expenses.

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Fire the Liar

Official portrait of Director of National Inte...

Official portrait of Director of National Intelligence . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ray McGovern | War Is A Crime | Reader Supported News | December 14, 2013

EMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Fire James Clapper

We wish to endorse the call by Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Chair of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary, that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be removed and prosecuted for lying to Congress. “Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with The Hill. “The only way laws are effective is if they’re enforced.”

Sensenbrenner added, “If it’s a criminal offense – and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a criminal offense – then the Justice Department ought to do its job.”

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Zero Tolerance Policy Rooted in Zero Smarts

English: GDP per capita versus mean household ...

English: GDP per capita versus mean household income (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William Boardman | Reader Supported News | December 14, 2013

The precipitating event, an imaginary shootout, lasted only moments

he fifth grade boy needed a pencil and, with his teacher’s permission, he went to the front of the classroom to get one. As he returned to his seat, his friend, another ten-year-old boy, pointed a folder at him and pretended to shoot him, as if the folder were a gun. The boy with the pencil responded by pantomiming as if he were shooting back with an imaginary bow and arrow. Then he sat down.

That’s the entire episode that occurred in rural Pennsylvania during the week of October 14. But this behavior was enough to get each boy a one-day, in-school suspension, and a black mark on his permanent record, because the school has a “zero tolerance” policy on “weapons.” Both boys have since served their suspensions in the office of the principal at the South Eastern Middle School-West in Fawn Grove (pop. 452, down from 463 in 2000). The school serves a district along the Maryland border with a population of almost 20,000 people (up from about 18,000 in 2000).

The motto of the South Eastern School District is “Providing Progressive Education to Strengthen the Global Community.” The district has 243 fifth graders and 217 sixth graders, 96 of whom qualify for lunch subsidies due to family poverty. The district has a median family income of almost $56,000, more than $6,000 higher than the national median family income. Principals in the district are paid in the $85,000-$100,000 range, and district superintendent Rona Kaufmann was paid $135,000 in 2012. Presumably these professional educators thought the fifth grade imaginary shootout episode was closed once the suspensions had been served and noted in the record.

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