Honoring Cesar Chavez’s Birthday by Supporting the Farm Workers for Whom He Gave His Life


Countless communities across America honor civil rights and farm labor leader Cesar Chavez on his March 31 birthday with annual commemorations. It’s an official holiday in California and several other states. All manner of public places have been named for him…

Indiana Shut Down Its Rural Planned Parenthood Clinics And Got An HIV Outbreak


Scott County, Indiana, the center of an exploding HIV outbreak, has been without an HIV testing center since early 2013, when the sole provider — a Planned Parenthood clinic — was forced to close its doors. The clinic did not offer abortion services.

The Scott County clinic and four other Planned Parenthood facilities in the state, all of which provided HIV testing and information, have shuttered since 2011, in large part due to funding cuts to the state’s public health infrastructure. Those cuts came amid a national and local political campaign to demonize the health care provider. Now, the state is scrambling to erect pop-up clinics to combat an unprecedented HIV epidemic caused by intravenous drug use…

Even without five of its clinics, Planned Parenthood’s HIV testing in Indiana has been increasing each year. Overall, the provider’s 25 remaining clinics in Kentucky and Indiana gave more than 8,000 HIV tests in 2014, about 1,000 more than the previous year. And the numbers would certainly be higher if the five shuttered clinics in Indiana had been able to continue to operate…

Here’s What Happens When Internet Providers Have Zero Competition


T&T’s GigaPower Internet service, which launched in Cupertino on Monday, will cost consumers $110 per month if they want the top speed of up to 1,000 megabits (one gigabit) per second for downloads. That’s $40 more per month than AT&T charges in other cities where it offers the service, like Austin and Kansas City, Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin reports.

The difference is that in Austin and Kansas City, AT&T competes with Google Fiber, the search giant’s own superfast Internet network. In those places, both Google Fiber and AT&T offer gigabit service starting at $70 per month…

I’d love to pay only $70 a month, or even $110.  My last Verizon bill was about $175 because of overages.  And I’d love to get a downloading speed of 1,000 megabits per second.  All I can say is that here, in New Mexico, Verizon is ripping me off.

Sixteen grams is a “substantial” amount? Ridiculous.


High School student charged with dealing drugs on campus

“They located a pretty substantial amount of marijuana and some other items of contraband nature,” said Onken.

Sixteen grams of Marijuana was found in Camargo’s vehicle, along with items like knives and brass knuckles…

I know the police are supposed to destroy the cannabis, but for a chronic pain patient without access to medicine, I sure wish they would give it to me (or another poor patient).

11/23/2014, Suicide rates rise and fall with economy, especially in Texas


Two years after Nancy Hobson’s husband lost his job at Bank of America, he used a hunting gun taken from his family’s vacation home to commit suicide…

During the economic crisis from 2008 to 2010, the suicide rate in the U.S. increased four times faster than it did during the previous eight years. The rate increased from about 11 suicides per 100,000 people to 12.5 per 100,000, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge in England.

There were 4,750 more deaths from suicide during 2008 to 2010 compared with the previous eight years. And for every rise of 1 percent in unemployment, there was a 1 percent increase in the suicide rate…

The state with the strongest correlation between unemployment and suicide was Texas.  In the aftermath of the recession, Americans are more likely to die from suicide than from car accidents. And middle-aged adults — those most likely to lose their jobs during an economic crisis — have overtaken the elderly as the age group at highest risk of suicide…

Norris, an expert on job loss, gender and suicide, interviewed hundreds of men with middle and upper-middle incomes who lost their jobs during the economic crisis. “These are men who are financially secure, owned at least one home, had one or two cars,” she said. “Their lifestyle was not really changing that much due to job loss.”

She asked them, “What does it mean to be a man?” They would say, “A man works. That’s what a man is.”

Americans work more than anyone in the developed world. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Americans now work longer, retire later and take less vacation time than in previous decades.

With so much time spent at work, taking away a person’s employment can mean not only taking away their identity but also the support network that would help them deal with the loss...

If Scientology is a religion, then…


Church Of Marijuana Gets Boost From Indiana’s Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law has been widely criticized and condemned by many, but an innovative marijuana activist in the state is using the bill’s legal protections as a means to set up a new religious sect — the First Church of Cannabis, where members would aim to use marijuana freely as a sacrament in a state where the substance remains banned.

“It’s a new religion for people who happen to live in our day and age,” Bill Levin, the church’s founder, told The Huffington Post in an interview Monday. “All these old religions, guys walking across the desert without Dr. Scholls inserts, drinking wine out of goat bladders, no compass, speaking Latin and Hebrew — I cannot relate to that shit. I drive by Burger Kings, bars and corn fields. I cannot relate to an antique magic book.” …

“I fought this bill tooth and nail,” Levin said. “And because of our brave and brilliant governor,” he continued, his voice brimming with sarcasm, “he opened up the door for me to take my campaign to religion. The state will not interfere with religious belief — well buddy, my religious belief is green with red hairs, and boy do I like to smoke it.” …

But Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, an Indiana attorney and political commentator, told RawStory that if Levin can convince the state that, under the RFRA, smoking marijuana is part of his religion’s practices, he may have “a pretty good shot of getting off scot-free.”

I believe that some Indian nations have legalized certain drugs as part of their religious practices.

Levin says the announcement of the church has created a firestorm of interest and support. He set up a crowdfunding account last week when the church first received notice that its registration was approved by the state, and as of Monday morning, the church had already raised close to $2,000. He also says that he has personally received thousands of messages of support, and hundreds of people ready to volunteer to help him with his mission. The church’s Facebook page, set up just days ago, already has more than 5,000 likes

His Chemical Romance: Tom Udall Teams Up With the Chemical Industry, With Explosive Results


Backers of the bill and its critics do tend to agree that the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act has failed to protect public health. That law has permitted the $800-billion-a-year chemical industry to produce over 80,000 substances whose traces now appear nearly everywhere—such as in household items including plastic baby bottles, food, and rugs. Only five of those chemicals have been tested for safety and regulated. 

And under the current law, according to John Stephenson, director of natural resources and the environment at the Government Accountability Office, the burden of proof is on the EPA to show a chemical is dangerous, not on the chemical industry to demonstrate that it is safe. And if a chemical is determined to be a health risk, its use can only be restricted in a way that is “least burdensome”, which is least expensive, for industry. Even a known carcinogen like asbestos—which is linked to the deaths of 10,000 Americans a year—has not been banned under this law because of an industry lawsuit…



An Albuquerque police officer illegally accessed a federal database to find a woman’s address and gave the information to her ex-husband, against whom she had a restraining order, according to the agency that investigates citizen complaints against city police officers. Simple question. Why hasn’t this been sent to the FBI and the Bernalillo County District Attorney for prosecution? I was always told that as a police officer if you ever accessed a law enforcement database for a reason other than law enforcement you would be prosecuted. So why didn’t Chief Eden report this to the FBI and the Bernalillo County District Attorney?

Do you see how easy it is to access state and federal databases, like PDMPs?