Sunday, September 30, 2012

Human trafficking is your problem, too


FAIR Girls
Trafficking survivor Aisha Graves, one of our guests today.
This is a guest post from one of our guests today, FAIR Girls executive director Andrea Powell, written prior to her appearance today.
Human trafficking isn’t something that happens "over there." I know this because as co-founding Executive Director of FAIR Girls, I spend my days side by side with girls from all over America who have been bought and sold like commodities. FAIR Girls helps hundreds of victimized girls each year become safe, healthy, and restored survivors.
This should be a central issue this election season, and one that every voter knows and cares about. Human trafficking knows no boundaries. A girl can be trafficked right out of her own home, school, or neighborhood.
There are 100,000 girls and boys at risk toward trafficking right now in America. There are between 14,000 and 20,000 foreign victims of labor trafficking, including domestic servitude, who are also victims of trafficking brought into the United States annually. This issue affects all of us on a daily basis.
If you think someone is in danger, please reach out to FAIR Girls at (202) 265-1505 to talk. Or, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 3737-888.
Here are some warning signs that someone you know may be in a trafficking situation:
  • Unexplained absences from school
  • Frequent disappearances  from home/running away
  • Sudden presence of an older boyfriend of girlfriend
  • Isolation and seemingly uninterested in friends and family
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Scripted behavior or speech
  • Unexplained cash or new things that they can not normally afford
  • Excessive hotel keys or cash in wallet
  • Planning a trip to work or travel somewhere with someone they barely know
There are so many ways that you can help a victim of trafficking become a survivor! Please consider connecting to FAIR Girls or another local nonprofit serving victims of trafficking in your area.  Consider hosting fundraising drives for clothing (including interview clothes for jobs), basic toiletries, bedding, and even school books.
The number of girls who FAIR Girls serves has more than doubled from a year ago.  I believe that this is directly related to the unregulated and vastly growing marketplace of, My Redbook, and other online classified advertising web sites where pimps advertise their often very young victims.
As I write this, I have received three text messages from girls in FAIR Girls program, including 12-year-old Kristie, who wrote to me saying, “Good luck this morning. Love ya.” These are real girls, and we need to prove to them that they are truly going to get the attention and care they need from the federal government all the way down to each individual who reads this post.
Watch today's discussion about sex trafficking -- one segment below, and the other after the jump.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
 President Obama spoke before the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday, in a speech that he devoted entirely to the issue of human trafficking. Asia Graves, who was a victim of sex trafficking, and Andrea Powell of Fair Girls, join Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
 Melissa Harris-Perry covers how sex trafficking has been more pervasive thanks in part to online websites like that provide a venue for underaged women and children to be sold for sex.
Samuel L. Jackson Delivers Colorful Get-Out-the-Vote Message
Actor declares it's time to 'wake the f**k up' and support Obama

Samuel L. Jackson is interrupting your movie night, study session, slumber party and your grandparents' make-out session (ew) with an important electoral message: "Wake the fuck up!" In this excellent new clip (seemingly inspired by Jackson's reading of the children's book Go the Fuck to Sleep), the acclaimed actor breaks down the disastrous platform of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to show what's at stake this election, while urging people get off their duffs and help President Obama's re-election campaign. Let's just say Jackson and his adorable sidekick, little Susie, get their message across loud and clear.

Stand Up To Cancer - 2012 - FULL Telecast HD

This is where the end of cancer begins

Published on Sep 8, 2012 by
What is Stand Up To Cancer? Simple. We're a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now.

Who do we Stand for? Everyone who's lost their hair, their energy, their hope. Everyone who's spent the night by a loved one's hospital bed. Everyone who's had to pull out their black suits and dresses to say goodbye to yet another friend.
Who's had to watch their own children suffer. We Stand Up for those still in the fight and for those who have lost. For those battling this disease with a strength they never knew they had. For those who've beat it and for everyone who will.

Why now? Because the solution is within our reach.

Will you Stand with us?

SU2C Patient Story: Avalanna

Published on Sep 15, 2012 by
Despite her rare diagnosis with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) and enduring multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and cell transplants, 6-year-old Avalanna lived life with an exuberance that inspired everyone around her. Broadcast as part of the September 7, 2012 Stand Up To Cancer telecast, Avalanna's story is a reminder of the critical need for additional research for children facing cancer everywhere. Avalanna passed on September 26, 2012. All of us at Stand Up To Cancer stand together, heartbroken, with the family of Avalanna Routh. For six years, she shared her courage, sparkling wit, bravery and strength with the world. Despite our tears, we will forever carry with us a gratitude for having encountered a life and spirit as precious as hers.

What Is SU2C?

For the first time in history, we can imagine stopping cancer in its tracks.

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) is a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now.
SU2C is bringing together the best and the brightest researchers and encouraging collaboration instead of competition among the entire cancer community. By galvanizing the entertainment industry, SU2C creates awareness and builds broad public support for this effort.
This is where the end of cancer begins: when we unite in one movement, unstoppable.
Here we stand, on the verge of unlocking the answers that will finally conquer cancer.
Cancer takes one person every minute. One life in a moment. They are our brothers, our sisters, our fathers and mothers, our husbands and wives, our best friends, our children, ourselves. Every day in America 1500 people die despite the fact that the means to save them are literally within our reach. To wait any longer for someone else to save our lives and the lives of those we love is unforgivable.  We must act now.
For the first time in history, we can envision the possibility of stopping cancer in its tracks.  Now more than ever, as government funding for cancer research is disappearing from the national agenda, every single one of us affected by cancer must stand up and be heard.

Mr & Mrs Bieber


Justin Bieber Remembers Avalanna ‘Mrs. Bieber’ Routh In Concert Video

Sun, September 30, 2012 4:34pm EDT by William Earl 

Justin has been absolutely heartbroken that six-year-old Avalanna Routh — his biggest fan — lost her fight to cancer this week. But her memory lived on when Justin paid tribute to her on the first night of his ‘Believe’ tour. Click to watch the touching video.

Justin Bieber‘s September 29 concert in Glendale, Arizona was totally inspiring, and he showed his dedication to Beliebers countless times. But the most touching moment came when he celebrated his favorite fan, Avalanna ‘Mrs. Bieber’ Routh, who tragically lost her battle with cancer on September 26.

Justin, 18, dedicated the song “One Less Lonely Girl” to Avalanna, while the Jumbotron cycled through images of the courageous girl and her family.

Justin continued the dedication on Twitter that day, with a series of messages dedicating his performance to her.
“Big day today. Tonight is for my angel. #mrsbieber,” he wrote before the show.
After the concert, Justin wrote, “Goodnight Avalanna. Tonight was for u. I love u.” He then issued another tweet, attached to a GIF of the Jumbotron tribute, which simply said, “:) great night.”
When Justin first heard that Avalanna had passed, he took to Twitter to share his grief with fans.
“Just got the worst news ever. one of the greatest spirits i have ever known is gone. please pray for her family and for her,” he wrote, adding “please show respect to her and her family. say a prayer for her and for them. i miss her.”
Justin is such a loving guy — we’re so happy he was able to pay tribute to Avalanna in such a big way!

Justin didn’t pick a One Less Lonely Girl aka OLLG from the crowd, he chose Avalana Mrs. Bieber from heaven.
After the show, Justin tweeted:
“Goodnight Avalanna. Tonight was for u. I love u”
Watch the video:
From @__chelseabang:
“Justin made it a tribute to Avalanna. And to be honest it was one of the sweetest and most genuine things I have ever seen. You could tell he was getting emotional and guarantee the entire crowd was.”
RollingStone Magazine has published a great article online, by Tim Dickinson. In this article Dickinson explains why a Romney/Ryan Presidency would actually be worse than a Bush/Cheney Presidency. Those of us who lived through the Bush II era, know that it was perhaps the second worse era in the United States in our lifetime, after the Great Depression (although some may argue it was worse in many ways).
We Americans cannot afford to live through that era again, much less an era that is more detrimental to our wellbeing than the Bush/Cheney regime. That’s why this piece is a must read. I have reproduced portions of the article below, but I urge everyone to read the whole thing.
The article starts by stating:
The GOP legislation awaiting Romney's signature isn't simply a return to the era of George W. Bush. From abortion rights and gun laws to tax giveaways and energy policy, it's far worse. Measures that have already sailed through the Republican House would roll back clean-air protections, gut both Medicare and Medicaid, lavish trillions in tax cuts on billionaires while raising taxes on the poor, and slash everything from college aid to veteran benefits. In fact, the tenets of Ryan Republicanism are so extreme that they even offend the pioneers of trickle-down economics. "Ryan takes out the ax and goes after programs for the poor – which is the last thing you ought to cut," says David Stockman, who served as Ronald Reagan's budget director. "It's ideology run amok."
This is the first reason given by the article. If Ryan gets his way, his budget would destroy 4.1 million jobs as soon as 2014
From February through April 2011, the economy had been adding 200,000 jobs a month. But during the uncertainty created by the congressional impasse, job creation was cut in half for every month the standoff continued. And according to the Economic Policy Institute, the immediate spending cuts required by the debt-ceiling compromise are likely to shrink the economy by $43 billion this year, killing nearly 323,000 jobs.
What Ryan markets as his "Path to Prosperity" would make things even worse: The draconian cuts in his latest budget, according to the EPI, would put an additional drag on the economy, destroying another 4.1 million jobs by 2014.
The GOP and a Romney Presidency would make it easier for criminals to carry concealed arms, destroy any meaningful gun regulation and prevent legislation that would protect Americans from gun violence.
When they weren't trying to force women to birth babies for rapists, the GOP House was voting to make it easier for would-be criminals to carry concealed firearms. In the first major gun legislation passed after their colleague Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head, the House sided with her attempted murderer, passing an NRA-backed measure that would have undercut state limits on concealed-carry permits. Under the legislation, authorities in a state that prohibits drunk people from carrying a hidden weapon, for instance, would be barred from arresting an armed inebriate if he had a permit from another state without such a restriction. The bill, said Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, would "make it easier for the Jared Loughners of the world to pack heat on our streets and in our communities."
As much as the GOP likes unchecked guns, they hates gays even more and with GOP control we will see the bigotry and discrimination against gays get even stronger
Unable to block the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Republicans in the House approved riders in the Defense appropriations bill to undermine the rights of gays in the armed forces. An amendment introduced by Rep. Todd Akin – Ryan's co-sponsor on "forcible rape" – sought to prohibit military facilities from being used to hold gay weddings, and to bar military chaplains from presiding over such ceremonies.
Society will be further divided between the haves and the have-nots with a Republican President, ultimately it will be the rich that would thrive and benefit most, while the common man and woman will be further neglected.
Romney, in fact, wants to give away even more to the rich than Republicans in the House by permanently eliminating the estate tax – a proposal that alarmsr veterans of the first Bush administration. "Given the vast amounts of wealth that have accumulated at the very, very, very top, it's an odd time to be eliminating this most progressive element of the tax system," says Michael Graetz, a former deputy assistant Treasury secretary under Bush. Over a decade, Romney's gift to the nation's most fortunate families would allow their heirs to pocket at least $1 trillion (including up to $50 million for Mitt's own heirs).
Slashing government is another example of how the common man and woman will suffer under a Romney Presidency
President Romney, the Ryan budget would slash spending on college tuition grants by 42 percent next year and kick 1 million students out of the program. It would also gut funding for public schools, food and drug safety, basic science research, law enforcement and low-income housing. The cuts to food stamps alone would total $134 billion over the next decade.

Cat Burglar


Dusty the cat is such an effective cat burglar that he has been given the alias Clepto by the neighbors that he steals from. If Dusty ever decides to organize the other neighborhood pets into a gang the crime rate in this area is going to go through the roof. Time to start a neighborhood watch.

This is by far the best video I have seen.  When you think of a cat burglar, you think of tall buildings, stunts, and loads of jewlery.
This will make you smile....

Stroll down

Caught YA!!!!!!!!

    Here’s a video of Romney in his early years at Bain, explaining his purpose in  acquiring companies was to “harvest them at significant profit.”
    No one should be surprised. After all, Bain Capital wasn’t in the business of creating jobs. It was in the business of creating profits.
    The two goals aren’t at all the same — as  Americans whose jobs have been eliminated or whose wages and benefits have been cut know all too well.
    For years, higher corporate profits have come at the expense of fewer jobs and lower wages. Business leaders and financiers have been “harvesting” like mad, leaving most Americans behind in the dirt.  
    Romney’s main selling point to voters is his so-called “business experience.” Yet America can’t afford this sort of “business experience” in the White House.
    To the contrary, we need someone who doesn’t see the economy as profits to be harvested, but as people who need more and better jobs.
    In 2012 that person is Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney.

  • Repackaging Mitt as a Compassionate Conservative? It’s Too Late

    “My heart aches for the people I’ve seen,” Mitt Romney said, on the second day of his Ohio bus tour. He’s now telling stories of economic hardship among the people he’s met.
    Up until now, Romney’s stories on the campaign trail have been about business successes – people who started businesses in garages and grew their companies into global giants, entrepreneurs who succeeded because of grit and determination, millionaires who began poor. Horatio Alger updated.
    Curiously absent from these narratives have been the stories of ordinary Americans caught in an economy over which they have no control. That is, most of us.
    At least until now.
    “I was yesterday with a woman who was emotional,” Romney recounts, “and she said, ‘Look, I’ve been out of work since May.’ She was in her 50s. She said, ‘I don’t see any prospects. Can you help me?’”
    Could it be Romney is finally getting the message that many Americans need help through no fault of their own?
    “There are so many people in our country that are hurting right now,” Romney says.  “I want to help them.”
    Later in the day, Romney told NBC that because of his efforts as governor of Massachusetts, “one hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.”
    But the repackaging of Mitt as a compassionate conservative won’t work. The good citizens of Ohio — as elsewhere — have reason to be skeptical.
    This is, after all, the same Mitt Romney who told his backers in Boca Raton that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government and unwilling to take care of themselves.
    It’s the same Romney who was against bailing out GM and Chrysler. One in eight jobs in Ohio is dependent on the automobile industry. Had GM and Chrysler gone under, unemployment in Ohio would be closer to the national average of 8.1 percent than the 7.2 percent it is today.   
    This is the same Romney who has been against extending unemployment benefits. Or providing food stamps or housing benefits for families that have fallen into poverty. Or medical benefits. To the contrary, Romney wants to repeal Obamacare, turn Medicare into vouchers, and turn Medicaid over to cash-starved states. 
    This is the same Mitt Romney who doesn’t worry that Wall Street financiers — including his own Bain Capital — have put so much pressure on companies for short-term profits that they’re still laying off workers and reluctant to take on any more.
    And the same Mitt who doesn’t want government to spend money repairing our crumbling infrastructure, rebuilding our schools, or rehiring police and firefighters and teachers. 

    Romney says he feels their pain but his policy prescriptions would create more pain.  
    Mitt Romney’s real compassion is for people like himself, whom he believes are America’s “job creators.” He aims to cut taxes on the rich, in the belief that the rich create jobs — and the benefits of such a tax cut trickle down to everyone else.
    Trickle-down economics is the core of Romney’s economics, and it’s bunk. George W. Bush cut taxes — mostly for the wealthy — and we ended up with fewer jobs, lower wages, and an economy that fell off a cliff in 2008.
    In Ohio Romney is repeating his claim that, under his tax proposal, the rich would end up paying as much as before even at a lower tax rate because he’d limit their ability to manipulate the tax code. “Don’t be expecting a huge cut in taxes because I’m also going to be closing loopholes and deductions,” he promises.
    But Romney still refuses to say which loopholes and deductions he’ll close. He doesn’t even mention the “carried interest” loophole that has allowed him and other private-equity managers to treat their incomes as capital gains, taxed at 15 percent.
    What we’re seeing in Ohio isn’t a new Mitt Romney. It’s a newly-packaged Mitt Romney. The real Mitt Romney is the one we saw on the videotape last week. And no amount of re-taping can disguise the package’s true contents.

  • Ann Romney concerned about Mitt’s “mental well-being” if elected Prez


    Romneys viaShutterstock.
    Asked what her primary worry would be should her husband succeed in defeating President Obama on Nov. 6, Mrs. Romney replied, “You know, I think my biggest concern, obviously, would just be for his mental well-being.”"I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness and his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy, in his understanding of what’s missing right now in the economy – you know, pieces that are missing to get this jumpstarted,” she continued. “So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it.”
    As Fox’s Greta Van Susteren said recently, no one knows Mitt Romney better than his wife:
    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: She stole the show in Tampa, and no one knows presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney better. After all, Mrs. Ann Romney has been married to him for 43 years.
    And as Mrs. Romney herself said in her convention speech:
    “I know this good and decent man for what he is.”
    So who are we to doubt Fox News and Mrs. Romney that if elected president we should be concerned about Mr. Romney’s mental health.
    I know I am. Now.
    In good news, at least she didn’t say he was brainwashed.
    Watch Mrs. Romney talk about her husband’s poor mental health at 7:08 into the video:

    Alice Walker has written a poem for this election year. I heard her reading it this morning on Democracy Now. I just loved it - I was amazed, touched and caught by surprise, nodding and saying "yes" over and over all the verses through. I like to invite you to read it. To me it's a vision I can fully embrace and I am very sure many, many women would agree with her and wished to walk and work towards Democratic Womanism.
    You can listen and watch her reading it here starting at TC 47:48.
    [I have added blank lines for easier readability. If they seem odd to you, it's all my fault.]
    "Democratic Womanism"
    You ask me why I smile
     when you tell me you intend
     in the coming national elections
     to hold your nose
     and vote for the lesser of two evils.
     There are more than two evils out there,
     is one reason I smile.
     Another is that our old buddy Nostradamus
     comes to mind, with his fearful
     400 year old prophecy: that our world
     and theirs too
     (our "enemies" – lots of kids included there)
     will end (by nuclear nakba or holocaust)
     in our lifetime. Which makes the idea of elections
     and the billions of dollars wasted on them
     somewhat fatuous.
     A Southerner of Color,
     my people held the vote
     very dear
     while others, for centuries,
     merely appeared to play
     with it.
     One thing I can assure
     you of is this:
     I will never betray such pure hearts
     by voting for evil
     even if it were microscopic
     which, as you can see in any newscast
     no matter the slant,
     it is not.
     I want something else;
     a different system
     One not seen
     on this earth
     for thousands of years. If ever.
     Democratic Womanism.
     Notice how this word has "man" right in the middle of it?
     That’s one reason I like it. He is right there, front and center. But he is surrounded.
     I want to vote and work for a way of life
     that honors the feminine;
     a way that acknowledges
     the theft of the wisdom
     female and dark Mother leadership
     might have provided our spaceship
     all along.
     I am not thinking
     of a talking head
     kind of gal:
     happy to be mixing
     it up
     with the baddest
     bad boys
     on the planet
     her eyes a slit
     her mouth a zipper.
     No, I am speaking of true
     regime change.
     Where women rise
     to take their place
     en masse
     at the helm
     of earth’s frail and failing ship;
     where each thousand years
     of our silence
     is examined
     with regret,
     and the cruel manner in which our values
     of compassion and kindness
     have been ridiculed
     and suppressed
     brought to bear on the disaster
     of the present time.
     The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave
     it there.
     I am thinking of Democratic, and, perhaps
     Socialist, Womanism.
     For who else knows so deeply
     how to share but Mothers
     and Grandmothers? Big sisters
     and Aunts?
     To love
     and adore
     both female and male?
     Not to mention those in between.
     To work at keeping
     the entire community
     fed, educated
     and safe?
     Democratic womanism,
     Democratic Socialist
     would have as its icons
     such fierce warriors
     for good as
     Vandana Shiva
     Aung San Suu Kyi,
     Wangari Maathai
     Harriet Tubman
     Yoko Ono
     Frida Kahlo
     Angela Davis
     & Barbara Lee:
     With new ones always rising, wherever you look.
    Alice Walker talking to Amy Goodman
    You are also on this list, but it is so long (Isis would appear midway) that I must stop or be unable to finish the poem! So just know I’ve stood you in a circle that includes Marian Wright Edelman, Amy Goodman, Sojourner Truth, Gloria Steinem and Mary McLeod Bethune. John Brown, Frederick Douglass, John Lennon and Howard Zinn are there. Happy to be surrounded!
    There is no system
    There is no system
    now in place
    that can change
    the disastrous course
    the Earth is on.
    Who can doubt this?
    The male leaders
    of Earth
    appear to have abandoned
    their very senses
    though most appear
    to live now
    in their heads.
    They murder humans and other
    forests and rivers and mountains
    every day
    they are in office
    and never seem
    to notice it.
    They eat and drink devastation.
    Women of the world,
    Women of the world,
    Is this devastation Us?
    Would we kill whole continents for oil
    (or anything else)
    rather than limit
    the number of consumer offspring we produce
    and learn how to make our own fire?
    Democratic Womanism.
    Democratic Socialist Womanism.
    A system of governance
    we can dream and imagine and build together. One that recognizes
    at least six thousand years
    of brutally enforced complicity
    in the assassination
    of Mother Earth, but foresees six thousand years
    ahead of us when we will not submit.
    What will we need? A hundred years
    at least to plan: (five hundred will be handed us
    when the planet is scared enough)
    in which circles of women meet,
    organize ourselves, and,
    allied with men
    brave enough to stand with women,
    men brave enough to stand with women,
    nurture our planet to a degree of health.
    And without apology —-
    (impossible to make
    a bigger mess than has been made already) -—
    devote ourselves, heedless of opposition,
    to tirelessly serving and resuscitating Our Mother ship
    and with gratitude
    for Her care of us
    worshipfully commit
    rehabilitating it.
    Can you do anything but follow and agree with her ?
    After I heard it in the radio this morning in the car, the first thing I checked was the diaries of last night and this morning. I ran into MB's diary about McCaskill and Akin, in which he offered a link to donate to all of dailykos supported women candidates. I think this link should be in here right now. May be you - like me - feel in a donating mood after reading Alice Walkers poem.