news from…can one person make a different?

January 11, 2010


Join and help the world change one person at a time. LadyJ

January 4 – January 10

Selling Sex on Facebook; New Global Warming Denier; Democrats Block C-SPAN

Hey Jacki M,

What do you get when you combine Michael Vick with David Letterman, some genetically-modified corn and a handful of condoms?
You get a week full of action at

First to Washington, D.C., where members are urging Mayor Adrian Fenty to overturn a policy that says anyone caught carrying more than three condoms on their person can be charged with prostitution. The real impact of this law falls on sex workers, who are encouraged to abandon safe-sex practices in order to avoid running afoul of the three-condom rule. In a city that has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the country, this backwards policy needs to end now.

Since this weekend marks the beginning of NFL playoff season, we turn our attention to Michael Vick, who the Philadelphia Eagles have nominated for the Ed Block Courage Award. What about the animals that suffered and died based on Vick’s federal dog fighting conspiracy past? Thousands of animal activists on are letting the Eagles know that they think Vick’s actions have been far from courageous.

David Letterman had his own fumble this week after President Obama made history by appointing the first transgender person to an executive-level position. In response, Letterman made a crass "joke" that insinuated transgender people were enough to make one sick. During a time when hate crimes against transgender people are widespread, LGBT activists are letting Letterman know that making transgender people the butt of jokes is far from funny.

Finally, we turn to news that genetically modified (GM) corn from the food giant Monsanto has been shown to cause kidney toxicity and heart damage in animals. Could this corn be doing the same thing to humans? The FDA should know the answer, but has done insufficient testing – so members are calling on them to withhold giving Monsanto’s GM corn the green light without further investigation.

Overall, it was an action-packed week in the world of change. For more news and commentary from your favorite causes this week, see the summaries below.

Top Actions This Week

Tell Trader Joe’s to Stop Selling Unsustainable Seafood
by Greenpeace
Take action »

Tell the Senate: Pass Juvenile Justice Reform Now!
by Campaign for Youth Justice
Take action »

Support Real Health Care Reform for Vulnerable Elderly Patients
by National Partnership for Women & Families
Take action »

Start a Petition »

Selling Sex on Facebook
Technology is changing industries all over the world faster than they can link their Facebook profiles to their Twitter accounts. End Human Trafficking blogger Amanda Kloer writes that the commercial sex industry is no different. Prostitution is migrating online just like everything else. So say goodbye to the era of street corner pimps smoking outside Cadillacs, and hello to the era of slick escort websites, carefully coded Craigslist ads, and online marketing of commercial sex. Call it the age of the e-brothel. (Read More)

New Global Warming Denier
Whole Foods Market has long dominated the natural and organic food scene, and most liberals who shop there believe they’re putting their money where their mouth is. But the grocery’s CEO, John Mackey, has used the bully pulpit the store’s success has provided to oppose first labor organizing, health care reform, and now, according to Sustainable Food blogger Cameron Scott, human-caused climate change. Couple that with the fact that Whole Foods has refused to join a coalition of business groups forming to push for sustainability, and one has to wonder: is it time for a boycott of one of America’s favorite grocery stores? (Read more)

Democrats Block C-SPAN
Transparency, transchmerency. C-SPAN, the network known for wall-to-wall video coverage of the boring stuff that constitutes 99 percent of congressional activity and the really juicy stuff that makes up the other one percent, is against top Democrats’s plans to hold some health care reform discussions behind closed doors. Health care blogger Josie Raymond writes that the network has reason to be upset. After all, on the campaign trail President Obama promised to televise health care negotiations so that Americans could see all of the options on the table. Is this a gotcha moment for President Obama and the Democrats? (Read more)

"Gay Panic" Defense
Sorry, I didn’t mean to stab you to death, but your sexual orientation kind of freaked me out. Sound like an absurd defense? Sure does. So why do we still continue to find defendants using the "gay panic" defense in court? Gay Rights blogger Michael Jones writes that it’s time for "gay panic" to become a thing of the past. After all, let’s call "gay panic" what it really is — an act by someone so self-loathing or insecure that they attack a person because they can’t come to terms with their own issues. That may indeed be panic. But defensible? Hardly. (Read more)

The Cycle of Homelessness
It’s known as the "revolving door," when former inmates are released from prison or when patients are discharged from the hospital with no home to return to. So where do they typically go? End Homelessness blogger Shannon Moriarty writes that if folks are lucky, they end up in emergency shelters. And if they’re not, they end up on the streets. But either way, victims of the "revolving door" don’t receive any of the specialized services necessary to keep them from heading back to jail, or back to the hospital. (Read more)

We hope you had a great weekend,
– The Team


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