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Wednesday
Jun202012

Nation's Crime Rates Tied To Belief In Hell | Can Plants Hear Sound? | African American Plants Heritage

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

A study at University of Oregon’s Cultural and Morality Lab confirms that a review of 26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries confirms that a nation’s strong belief in hell predicts lower crime rates. Conversely, a strong belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, explains Azim F. Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the research.

Religious belief generally has been viewed as ‘a monolithic construct’, Shariff said. ‘Once you split religion into different constructs, you begin to see different relationships. via Daily Mail UK

In 2003, Harvard researchers Robert J. Barro and Rachel M. McCleary found that gross domestic product was higher in developed countries when people believed in hell more than in heaven.

Pillamina Hits the Road

WomenPatriots writes that Planned Parenthood’s Pillamina will be one step behind Mitt Romney’s campaign road trip. LifeSite News says that Pillamina is “stalking” Romney.

‘Pillamina’ last appeared to celebrate the Obama Administration’s announcement of a no co-pay for birth control pills — a decision that has caused deep controversy among religious leaders.

Secret Lives of Plants

Researchers in Australia have documented clicking sounds in the roots of corn saplings. Researchers at Bristol University then suspended young roots of plants in water, exposing them to a continuous noise at 220Hz, the frequency emitted by the corn sapling roots. The scientists confirm that plants grew towards the sound.

In 2009 researchers at Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society exposed tomato plants to male and female voices, attached to their pots and reading poetry and Shakespeare.

The tomato plants grew 2 inches taller in response to a female voice but grew less than the control group in response to male voices. Read on in AOC Apple Valley.

Seeds of Survival

Kathe Hambrick-Jackson, of the River Road African American Museum in Louisiana, raises foods that would have been familiar to slaves, like okra and peas. Randy Harris for The New York TimesLouisiana’s Freedom Garden attempts to educate young African American kids about key foods that were staples for runaway slaves. Knowing that kids use the garden as a shortcut, Kathe Hambrick-Jackson intercepts them with signs at every eye level to educate them about their history.

The New York Times profiles the River Road African American Museum, Michael W. Twitty’s African American Heritage Collection, and the dwindling data on African-American farms in America in Planting the Seeds of Survival.

Many African Americans associate farming and working the land with slavery.  Family battles also cause land to go into foreclosure, says the Emergency Land Fund, a black farm and property preservation group.

Monday
Jun182012

US Conference of Mayors Passes Resolution Affirming Women's Reproductive Rights | Cardinal Dolan Riles Irish

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

The US Conference of Mayors, representing 1,200 cities across America voted on Saturday to pass a resolution in support of women’s reproductive rights and also funding for Planned Parenthood.

The mayors including its lead sponsors including Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Ed Lee of San Francisco, Mike McGinn of Seattle, Antonio Vilaraigosa of Los Angeles, Pedro Segarra of Hartford, Conn and Sam Adams of Portland, Ore organized the resolution to fight back against the wave of state and federal efforts to restrict women’s access to abortion and family planning services.

The mayors collectively agreed to fight back against these efforts to restrict women’s health care in the future, writes Laura Bassett for Huffington Post.

The resolution “affirms the importance of women’s reproductive rights” and “urges Congress and the states to pursue a positive agenda that reaffirms fundamental rights and improves women’s access to safe and comprehensive reproductive-health care.”

“When it comes to reproductive health decisions, nobody knows better than an individual woman what is best for herself and her family,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “New York City is committed to supporting a woman’s right to choose and ensuring that all New Yorkers have the information, and access to care, they need to make safe and healthy decisions.”

Mayor Bloomberg donated $250,000 of his foundation’s money to Planned Parenthood during the Komen funding crisis.

The mayors’ resolution came the day after the Obama administration lost its key ally in its controversial plan to require health insurers to provide free contraceptive coverage.

To all who can read the tea leaves, the Catholic bishops clamped down on the Catholic Health Association, which had initially supported the Obama contraception mandate compromise. Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association in February announced: “The Catholic Health Association is very pleased with the White House announcement that a resolution has been reached that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions.”

That announcement raised the furor of Catholic bishops weeks before the Vatican’s called American nuns a bunch of “radical feminists”.  With American nuns under investigation, the change of heart by the Catholic Health Association comes as no surprise.

On Friday Sister Keehan withdrew support for the compromise, saying the the CHA is now “deeply concerned” about the plan and that the White House “has not relieved our initial concerns.”

Cardinal Dolan Riles Ireland

Americans of every faith including Catholics aren’t the only people upset with Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests has strongly protested against Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s visitation report on the Irish College in Rome.

According to the Irish Times, the association called on Ireland’s four Irish archbishops, trustees of the college, and bishops of the priests concerned, “to publicly repudiate this report in the strongest possible terms and to support the priests involved in seeking to restore their reputations”.

They protested “in the strongest possible terms against the methodology and conclusions” of Cardinal Dolan’s report and said it had “effectively destroyed the reputations of priests, who have given lifelong service to the Irish Catholic Church, without giving them a right of reply to the allegations made against them”.

They found it “unacceptable that a report to the pope, on a sensitive issue, should be conducted in such an incompetent fashion” and said “no court of law would treat people in such a way”.

The four Irish priests at the college who were recommended for dismissal by Dolan’s team argues that Cardinal Dolan was investigating the “gay-friendly” reputation at the college. Charging that the report lists no evidence at all, even stating that it found no evidence.

Sister Pat Farrell Speaks

The Washington Post reports Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said today that Catholics should be able to search for answers about faith without fear. 

In the Rome meeting, Farrell said she did not ask Vatican officials in to drop their demand for reform. “I think we could clearly see in the tenor of the conversation that that was not an option,” she said. She characterized the meeting as frank and open but difficult, and said she did not leave the talk feeling any more hopeful about what’s ahead.

NH Governor Vetoes “Partial Birth” Abortion Ban

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch vetoed a state law that makes illegal a non-existent procedure known as “partial birth abortion,” saying that a federal ban already exists.Since 2003, federal law has banned late-term abortions except to protect the health of the mother.

The law required that two physicians from separate hospitals must determine that a woman’s life was in danger before performing a partial-birth abortion. Both houses say they are prepared to override the veto.

Anne of Carversville

Liisa Winkler | Txema Yeste | Marie Claire July 2012 | Dark Rider

AOC Private Studio

Erin Wasson | Hilary Walsh | C Magazine Summer 2012 | Wild Horses

Alyona Subbotina | KT Auleta | Elle US July 2012 | About a Pearl

Candice Huffine | Camilla Akrans | Vogue Germany June 2012 | In The Realm Of The Senses

Marlena Szoka | Jam | Flair Austria June 2012 | Hot Splash

Karlie Kloss | Mario Testino | Vogue US July 2012 | Brazilian Treatment

Luisa Bianchin | Jacob Sadrak | Volt #11 | Downtown

Kat Cordts | Frauke Fischer | Miss | Creme Fresh

Bruna Tenório | Chris Nicholls | Flare July 2012 | Heat Seeker

Sensuality News

SN Living

Esha Gupta | Jatin Kampani | Maxim India June 2012

Caroline Trentini | Nico Bustos | El Pais Semanal  June 10, 2012 | Al Ritmo de Rio

Marte Mei van Haaster | Meinke Klein | Elle Netherlands | Atlantis

Kolfinna Kristófersdóttir | Yasunari Kikuma | Youth Vision June 2012 | Sporty Colors

Thairine Garcia | Gui Paganini | Harper’s Bazaar Brazil May 2012 | Fantasia Gotica

Anais Mali | Philip Gay | Elle France June 2012 | Cool on the Sand

Alison Nix | Arkan Zakharov | Pulp #5 | ‘In the Future We Will Be Strange’

Tati Cotliar | Fabio Bartelt | Harper’s Bazaar Brazil June 2012 | ‘Attitude Rock’

Samantha Rayner | Bruno Barbazan | Cosmopolitan France July 2012 | Accroche-Coeur

Song Kyung Ah & Sera Park | Hong Jang Hyun | Harper’s Bazaar Korea June 2012 | Scuba Chic

Leah de Wavrin | Enrique Badulescu | Elle UK June 2012 | Siren Song

Shannan Click | Nagi Sakai | Elle France June 2012 | Jeans, Sex & Sun

Tiah Eckhardt & Shelby Furber | Matriarch Collection 2012  | We Are Handsome

Saturday
Jun162012

Eve Ensler's 'The Vagina Monologues' Will Be Read With Eve Ensler At Michigan Capitol June 18th 

Just In!

Vaginas Take Back the Capitol! Monday June 18th 5:00pm until 8:00 pm

Michigan Caitol Building - 100 Capitol Ave (btw. West Allegan & West Ottawa), Lansing, Michigan

Facebook Public Event until June 30 at 12:00 am PDT: Vagina isn’t a dirty word

Would you like to show your support for the word vagina in particular, and women’s rights in general? Mail a card with just the word VAGINA on it to: Jase Bolger Speaker of the House PO Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 ********

(CNN) - Two state representatives in Michigan were barred from speaking on the floor of the legislature in Lansing Thursday after colleagues deemed their language “failed to maintain the decorum” of the legislative body.

State Reps. State Reps. Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum, both Democrats, were arguing against proposed legislation that would enact new restrictions on abortions in Michigan, including provisions for new insurance requirements for abortion providers.

Brown ended her floor speech by declaring: “”I’m flattered that you are all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.”

Byrum chimed in, announcing the word “vasectomy” after Brown’s speech, an apparent reference to proposed Democratic legislation that would counter the new abortion rules by placing similar restrictions on vasectomies.

A spokesman for the Republican Speaker of the House told the Detroit Free Press the two women would not be allowed to speak on the floor after their remarks.

They “will not be recognized to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives,” the spokesman said.

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Eve Ensler’s play ‘The Vagina Monologues’ is considered to be a manifesto for women’s rights. The world is revving up behind two Democratic women members of Michigan’s state House of Representatives, after the Republican War on Women banned them for saying ‘naughty’ words on the House floor.

AOC reported the story yesterday, with Orthodox Jewish woman Lisa Brown’s speech against Michigan’s passed in House anti-abortion law, one that de facto also puts Planned Parenthood out of business in the state.

The story has gone viral, and now at least nine female legislators will join actresses from around Michigan on Monday evening to read the 1996 play “The Vagina Monologues”, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Protest organizer Carla Milarch, who is associate artistic director of the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor, announced that playwright Eve Ensler is flying in for the event from California. “Staging the play seemed like the perfect response to conservative men silencing women for speaking in direct terms about body parts — specifically for saying the word vagina, she said.”

Also planning to read Monday are Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, who also was banned from making further speeches because she intended to introduce a bill putting restrictions on vascetomies; Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes, D-Saginaw; Rep. Dian Slavens, D-Canton; Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit; Rep. Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills; Rep. Joan Bauer, D-Lansing, and Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing.

“No one is throwing these words around (in the Legislature) without a rational context. If these men can’t handle the debate about women’s bodies, they shouldn’t be taking away our rights” to abortion access, Whitmer said.

Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, said she will read from the play ” because preserving freedom of speech is essential in any legislative body.

Lisa Brown Silenced by Bolger

Michigan Rep Lisa Brown (D) is banned indefinitely from speaking by Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R)Ari Adler, press secretary for Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) told TPM that her punishment had nothing to do with her use of the word ‘vagina’.

“The Speaker Protempore at the time was John Walsh. It was his judgment at the time that when she finished her statement by referencing her vagina, and then saying ‘no means no,’ that was drawing in a rape reference, and he felt that crossed the line.”

Michigan Liberal posts an email from Adler that goes further:

“All day today, we have had representatives of both parties, both genders and several different religions passionately debating important issues that will significantly impact the future of Michigan. I would urge you not to become too distracted by temper tantrums designed to score political points.”

Brown was explaining that the package of abortion bills — one including the “let women die” rule, would violate her Jewish religious beliefs which says that abortions must be allowed to save the life of the mother.

Related Reading: Michigan’s Attack on Women’s Rights New York Times

FDA Revises Scientific Language Around Morning-After Pill

In a speed not known to the federal government, the Food & Drug Administration updated its definition of how the morning after pill works, after a recent in-depth article by the New York Times.

In its recent report on the morning-after pill, the Times said the FDA had decided during the drug-approval process to say the pill can prevent eggs from implanting despite “lack of scientific proof” and “objections by the manufacturer of Plan B, the pill on the market the longest.” According to the Times, leading scientists say studies “provide strong evidence that Plan B does not prevent implantation and no proof that a newer type of pill, Ella, does.”

The change isn’t likely to have significant short-term change in the abortion debate, where anti-abortion advocates have little interest in hearing the scientific facts about women’s reproductive health.

Anne of Carversville

Body Talk | Owning Vulvas, Clits & G-Spots AOC Sensual Rebel

I do understand that women are tired of being sexually dissected, but as grownup females, we remain unbelievably uncommitted to embracing the benefits of healthy sexuality — assuming that access to condoms and birth control exists.

Political and religious patriarchies are waging greater control than ever over female sexuality around the world. My advice to women in developed countries about exploring their sexuality is laughable when women are dying and raped in the Congo.

The Great Wall of Vagina | Learning to Love Our Genitalia AOC Sensual Rebel

I returned to the subject of vaginas today, ruminating over a comment I made last week about the male fear of castration in female orifices. Busy rewriting a new definition of sensuality that I will present to Webster’s before the end of 2011 — come hell or high water —  I found myself in the muck of ‘vagina dentata’ at 5am.

You might think that ‘vagina dentata’ or a vagina full of teeth capable of devouring a phallus without warning is present only in ancient history and mythology. It was actually the basis of the 2007 horror/humor film ‘Teeth’.