Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blue Dogs RESTORE federal abstinence-only funding | Amplify

Thought federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs was a thing of the past?

Think again.

Last night, the Senate Finance Committee voted 12-11 to pass Hatch Amendment #C30 to restore the $50 million a year funding to Title V abstinence-only programs. All Republicans on the committee (including Snowe from ME) voted for it, as well as 2 Democrats, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.

Here is the gloating response of the National Abstinence Education Association:

This positive bipartisan vote by the Senate insures that valuable programs teaching teens to make the healthiest choices regarding their sexuality will continue. Committee members courageously put politics aside in favor of the health and well-being of the American families. Tonight's vote is a show of support for valuable and proven abstinence education that has made such a difference in the lives of so many teens, while also supporting parents who soundly endorse such programs. "It is encouraging that the hard work of grassroots constituencies from across the country have prevailed to ensure these common-sense programs will continue, " said Valerie Huber, executive director of NAEA. "While the amendment still needs to pass a Senate floor vote, tonight's decision is a significant step in the right direction for the optimal health of America's youth," she added.
Let me emphasize that last point: it still needs to pass a Senate floor vote.

We can still stop this amendment if we all let all of our Senators know that this MUST be stripped out of the Baucus healthcare bill.

Click here to urge your Senator to strip the Hatch Amendment out of this bill.

This Title V money has gone (and would continue to go) to abstinence-only groups so that they can lie to students about condoms being ineffective, set up fake “crisis” pregnancy centers that tell women that abortion is unsafe and will give them breast cancer, and actually send a juggling abstinence clown into middle school classrooms to teach them about “sex”.

The abstinence clowns have to go, no matter how much fellow “Blue Dog” clowns like Blanche Lincoln and Kent Conrad try to save their funding.

We’ve come too far and learned too much about the failure of abstinence-only programs to allow this federal funding to continue. ACT NOW.

Write your senators and ask them to vote no! If it does pass I hope the House of Representatives will kill it, and if that doesn't work I hope President Obama will have the courage to veto it.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Women Have Sex: New Research | Newsweek Life

A 25-year-old woman has a friend who is a virgin. She's not physically attracted to him, nor does she want to be romantically involved. But she feels sorry for him, pities his inexperience. So she decides she will go home with her friend—to show him how it's done. As she undresses, she feels powerful and sexy—and that feeling (not the presence of her soon-to-be deflowered friend) turns her on. "It boosted my confidence to be the teacher in the situation and made me feel more desirable," the woman says.

The mystery of why women have sex, and what they want out of it, has long been an elusive study—something even Sigmund Freud called "the great question." Researchers have historically theorized that women's motives lie in love and commitment, while newer studies have shown they do it for pleasure, just like men. But women are complicated creatures: their sexual health is determined as much by their emotions as by their physical state, which might help explain why as many as 50 percent of women have trouble getting aroused. Yet while scientists, in recent years, have labored over the "how" of female desire, no major study, until now, has actually asked women to describe why they have sex in the first place.

In their new book, Why Women Have Sex,University of Texas psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss aim to illuminate the complexities of women's sexual motivations through women's own words—an important step, they say, to better understanding how women can achieve sexual satisfaction. Based on five years of research and an online survey of 1,000 women, the authors consider motivation ranging from altruistic sex ("I felt sorry for the guy") to revengeful sex ("I wanted to get back at my partner") to palliative sex ("I had a migraine"). We hear from women who've had sex to boost their confidence, even if it's with a man (or woman) they find repulsive, and from those who've used sex to barter for gifts or household chores (9 percent of us have used this form of economic sex, according to a University of Michigan study). We learn that 31 percent of women have had sex to evoke jealousy in the ones they love, while others have done it to protect themselves from getting hurt. Some, like the 25-year-old woman we described earlier, have had sex to boost their self-esteem, and 84 percent of women report they've done it simply to "keep the peace" at home. "I think the stereotype tends to be that women have sex for love and men have sex for pleasure," says Meston, director of the Sexual Psychophysiology Lab at UT Austin. "But in reality, women's sexual motivations are vastly complex."

Many of those complexities, say the authors, can be explained by human evolution: stealing a friend's lover (something 53 percent have done) can be viewed as an effort to win a partner with the most desirable genes; jealousy functions to alert a person to a threat; women who have sex out of a duty to please are "mate-guarding." And while the notion that sexual decisions are tethered to our caveman (or cavewoman) past has come under recent criticism, it seems just as reasonable that the myriad of female motivations could come from the flood of mixed messages we hear about how women are supposed to behave: enjoy sex but don't enjoy it too much, withhold it but don't be a prude, save it, flaunt it, be sexy but not a slut. No wonder things get complicated.

Despite all that, the women's descriptions are fascinating—if not particularly easy to interpret. As one woman describes, "I seduced [a man who wasn't my boyfriend] to give myself the confidence that if I was dumped, I would still be able to find another partner." "I did it out of boredom, because it was easier than fighting," quips another. On one hand, the realization that women's motives can be dark and devious are likely to make many a women's advocate cringe: TV and movies joke frequently about the ways women use sex to get what they want, and female characters who manipulate are often portrayed as bitchy, heartless, or controlling. But perhaps the fact that we're hearing those motives articulated out loud for the first time is also comforting. Yes, women have sex to get what they want—and they're not always timid about it. Sometimes they do it for the emotional connection, but other times they simply want the release. (Physical pleasure and attraction, say the authors, are still the most common reasons women say they have sex.) Women are not always pure, not always transparent—and that's OK.

I already knew that women and their motivations are psychologically complex, but I suppose it's a good thing researchers are confirming this.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Iran Rally on Thursday

Iran Rally on Thursday At noon tomorrow, Thursday September 24th, at 47th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan there will be a brief rally to protest Iranian President Ahmadinajed's address to the UN's General Assembly. Earlier this week President Ahmadinajed boasted about having denied the Holocaust ever happened.

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On-line Afterlife: Facebook Memorial Accounts

Check out this website I found at

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Judaism 101: The role of apology in atonement during the Days of Awe

The apology process during the Days of Awe. An internet service helps monitor one's apologies.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 masted ship in NY Harbor w/cruise ship & ferry in background

View from the pier in Red Hook where the BWAC Fall 2009 group show "The Words of Color" is exhibited and the from the outdoor dining area of Fairway supermarket. The arc behind the ferry is the Bayonne Bridge.

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3 masted ship in NY Harbor w/cruise ship & ferry in background

3 masted ship in NY Harbor w/cruise ship & ferry in background

View from the pier in Red Hook where the BWAC Fall 2009 group show "The Words of Color" is exhibited and from the outdoor dining area of Fairway supermarket. The arc behind the ferry is the Bayonne Bridge.

davidfcooper: for the 2nd time in 2 months my FB has been hacked! ([info]

davidfcooper) wrote,
@ 2009-09-12 19:17:00

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for the 2nd time in 2 months my FB has been hacked!
I got an email from Facebook saying that my account has been compromised, that someone is impersonating me to try to trick my friends into sending hir money by claiming to be in stranded in a foreign city. I hope nobody falls for it this time. If I ever were robbed & stranded in a foreign city I would call my credit card company not any of my friends or relatives. Facebook security's email asked me for the answer to a security question which I supplied in my reply. I hope they restore my account soon.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Kennedy to Obama: ‘There will be struggles’ over health care « - Blogs from

The White House has released the text of the letter from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy that President Obama referenced in his address to Congress:

May 12, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me-and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles – there always have been – and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat – that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family’s health will never again depend on the amount of a family’s wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign- and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young President who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young President inspires another generation and once more on America’s behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend- and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,


Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama • Ted Kennedy

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Art 101: BWAC's Fall 2009 Show: The Words of Color

In previous articles last May and July I discussed Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition's (BWAC) Spring and Summer exhibits noting the mixed but generally quite good quality of the art, its affordability, the diversity of styles and backgrounds of the artists, and that Jewish artists are somewhat overrepresented. All of which is also true of BWAC's Fall 2009 Show: The Words of Color that opens on Saturday and which I previewed on Sunday. 

In the 1980s many artists incorporated texts into their visual art in ways that were sometimes self-indulgent, often polemical, and sometimes both. In this exhibit some artists integrate texts into the work and others place the text on the side as a kind of commentary reminiscent of our sacred texts.

Read the full article here:

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

firefox_keyboard_shortcuts.pdf (application/pdf Object)


For my own reference; maybe you'll find it useful too.

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New research from Israel shows dates keep you healthier

They taste very sweet, but according to new research from Israel eating 100 grams of dates a day does not cause an increase in blood sugar and can even improve the quality of cholesterol in your blood. The date has joined the list of fruits that protect against atherosclerosis.

Prof. Michael Aviram of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology's Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and the Rambam Medical Center found that in research carried out on healthy subjects, eating 100 grams of dates daily over one month did not cause an increase in blood sugar levels and also that the level of fats (triglycerides) in the blood decreased significantly, as well as the amount of oxidation of fats in the blood. The new finding is about to be published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Aviram was the first to show that the most effective fruits are the pomegranate, red wine (the grape) and olive oil. This was after he researched the effects of dozens of fruits and vegetables on delaying the development of heart and vascular diseases.




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3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

My favorite fruit is good for me! Thanks to Simcha Daniel Burstyn who brought this article to my attention. Now is a good time to stock up on dates at Halal grocers who are selling them at discount prices for Ramadan.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Hierarchy Of Digital Distractions | Information Is Beautiful

This is a parody of Maslow's hierarchy of needs updated for the digital age. Because I spend more time at home than away my phone is less distracting than my laptop.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

davidfcooper: busy social weekend ([info]

davidfcooper) wrote,
@ 2009-09-07 19:49:00

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busy social weekend
We had dinner at different friends' homes Friday and Sunday nights and a shul picnic Saturday afternoon; we enjoyed all three. By coincidence our respective hosts both nights are moving soon and each offered us books to help thin out their respective collections. Our Friday host is moving to Philadelphia to enroll in Gratz College to earn a Masters degree in Jewish education. Our Sunday host, [info]

mofic, lost her job and has to move back to the spacious co-op apartment she and her ex co-own and which her ex has refused to sell; sharing the space with [info]

mofic again may at long last convince her ex to sell (with the proceeds of such a sale each could buy her own apartment, and it would also help pay for their oldest child's final year of college).

Since I commenced my twice daily therapeutic regimen for lymphedema nine years ago we have mostly limited our socializing to a diurnal schedule which meant not seeing friends much. On Friday night we got home shortly after midnight and I didn't get to bed until 3:45 AM (it usually takes me close to four hours to get to bed); last night we got home about 10:45 and I went to sleep at 3:00 AM. Much as I don't like messing with my sleep schedule I dislike social isolation more.

This weekend was the 20th anniversary of Shoshana's working for the same boss (she's been with the same employer for 23 years), and to mark the occasion she spent this morning baking chocolate cakes she will bring to work tomorrow.

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What Type of Nerd Are You? [Pic]

I'm intelligent but neither obsessed nor socially inept. What does one call a brainy affable generalist?

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