Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Volunteer, Louisiana!! It'll take your mind off your sh*tty governor!

Image:  http://www.dirtytease.net
After Jindal's deadly budget cuts to education, healthcare for the poor, social services, community service groups and non-profits, his administration has the audacity to turn to volunteerism as the "feel-good" solution to our state's gutted public service sector??

I'll keep volunteering on my own time - not your's, Bobby Jindal! 

Irony: Jindal & his political allies have been using the term "Community Organizer" as a mean-spirited insult to President Obama for four years. What hypocrites! 

Read about the Jindal administration's new-found love of public service here:  http://volunteerlouisiana.gov/

Based on Louisiana's own reporting, 51% of Louisianians already volunteer.  Too little, too late, Mr. Jindal.

Monday, August 20, 2012

World Health Organisation releases groundbreaking report condemning ’conversion’ therapies

Source:  Pan American Health Organisation

Washington, D.C., 17 May 2012 (PAHO/WHO) — Services that purport to "cure" people with non-heterosexual sexual orientation lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in a position statement launched on 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia. The statement calls on governments, academic institutions, professional associations and the media to expose these practices and to promote respect for diversity.

Twenty two years ago, on May 17, the World Health Assembly removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders when it approved a new version of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

"Since homosexuality is not a disorder or a disease, it does not require a cure. There is no medical indication for changing sexual orientation," said PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago. Practices known as "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy" represent "a serious threat to the health and well-being—even the lives—of affected people."

The PAHO statement notes that there is a professional consensus that homosexuality is a natural variation of human sexuality and cannot be regarded as a pathological condition. However, several United Nations bodies have confirmed the existence of "therapists" and "clinics" that promote treatment intended to change the sexual orientation of non-heterosexual people.

The document notes that no rigorous scientific studies demonstrate any efficacy of efforts to change sexual orientation. However, there are many testimonies about the severe harm to mental and physical health that such "services" can cause. Repression of sexual orientation has been associated with feelings of guilt and shame, depression, anxiety, and even suicide.

As an aggravating factor, there have been a growing number of reports about degrading treatments, and physical and sexual harassment under the guise of such "therapies," which are often provided illicitly. In some cases, adolescents have been subjected to such interventions involuntarily and even deprived of their liberty, sometimes kept in isolation for several months.

"These practices are unjustifiable and should be denounced and subject to sanctions and penalties under national legislation," said Dr. Roses. "These supposed conversion therapies constitute a violation of the ethical principles of health care and violate human rights that are protected by international and regional agreements."

To address the problem, PAHO makes a series of recommendations for governments, academic institutions, professional associations, the media, and civil society, including:

• “Conversion” or “reparative” therapies and the clinics offering them should be denounced and subject to adequate sanctions.

• Public institutions responsible for training health professionals should include courses on human sexuality and sexual health in their curricula, with a focus on respect for diversity and the elimination of attitudes of pathologization, rejection, and hate toward non-heterosexual persons.

• Professional associations should disseminate documents and resolutions by national and international institutions and agencies that call for the de-psychopathologization of sexual diversity and the prevention of interventions aimed at changing sexual orientation.

• In the media, homophobia in any of its manifestations and expressed by any person should be exposed as a public health problem and a threat to human dignity and human rights.

• Civil society organizations can develop mechanisms of civil vigilance to detect violations of the human rights of non-heterosexual persons and report them to the relevant authorities. They can also help to identify and report people and institutions involved in the administration of “reparative” or “conversion therapies.”

PAHO, which celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, is the oldest public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and the quality of life of the people of the Americas. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO.

LINKS: “Cures” for an illness that does not exist

Media Contacts:
Leticia Linn, linnl@paho.org, Tel. + 202 974 3440, Mobile +1 202 701 4005
Donna Eberwine-Villagran, eberwind@paho.org, Tel. +1 202 974 3122, Mobile +1 202 316 5469 Sonia Mey-Schmidt, maysonia@paho.org, Tel. + 1 202 974 3036, Mobile +1 202 251 2646
Knowledge Management and Communications, PAHO/WHO–www.paho.org

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Wealthy Segregationists Want Urban Charter Schools

  • Urban charter schools require minimal public investment in physical plants, library programs, the arts, science labs, athletics, personnel, and transportation infrastructure.
  • Urban charter schools are cheaper because they depend upon an endless stream of young beginning teachers with few benefits, no retirement payouts, and no collective bargaining.
  • Urban charter schools make it easy to segregate based on race, economics, gender, and disability.
  • Urban charter schools allow for the exclusion or dumping of problem students whose abilities, behaviors, or test performance that could damage to the charter brand.
  • Urban charter schools make it easier to hide the problems of the poor by pointing to testing success by those who survive the charter gauntlet.
  • Urban charter schools allow for the imposition of cultural and psychological control techniques in urban areas that are not subject to public scrutiny.
  • Urban charter schools put decision-making and control into the hands of unelected executives with no oversight beyond hand-picked board members.
  • Urban charter schools (not-for-profit CMOs) allow corporations and wealthy donors to reap huge tax benefits for their generosity to corporate charter schools.
  • Urban charter schools (for-profit EMOs) expand business opportunities for the education industry & testing-industrial complex.
  • Urban charter schools make it possible to take the state tax dollars saved from the forced choice of urban charters and use that money to enrich suburban public schools without raising taxes.