Ithaca: There’s no place like home

diagram of human leg bones

This image is an edited version of this image that was created by User:LadyofHats (Mariana Ruiz Villarreal). More info: Wikimedia Commons

We went to the Washington, D.C. / Baltimore, Maryland area to visit family and attend our dear nephew Eli’s Bar Mitzvah. While rollerskating at the after-party Shira broke her leg! It’s the fibula, the non-weight-bearing bone, but still. OW.

Here are a few links and such I want to share, that I found in my in-box when I got home. Thank you so much to everyone who posts these sorts of things, and to those who run lists, and to those who forward things. I appreciate it and I hope those who are reading do, too! Here we go…

Ithaca Events

  • Nov 10-22: Leaf Swap: Get leaves or give leaves, for composting
  • Nov 22: The Twenty-First Annual Conference on Depression: Technology and Mental Health
  • Nov 28: Black Friday Action at Wal-Mart, 10 – Noon
  • Dec 4: Syracuse Hearing: Public Hearing in Syracuse on the New York Health Bill and Universal, Single Payer Health Care, 10am
  • Dec 4 & Dec 11: Tompkins County Public Library will present “Cuentos en Español,” a Spanish-language storytime for toddlers and their caregivers, 4-5pm in the Library’s Thaler/Howell Programming Room
  • Dec 4: A discussion with Helen Helfer, an anti-racism activist, at Ecovillage in the SoNG (second neighborhood) Common House, 6.50 – 8pm. (Via Talking Circles on Race and Racism)

    Author of the book “Footprints on the Land,” Helen will be discussing a section of her book called “Teaching American History to Our Youth.” She’ll focus on the history of racism and what’s missing in the story our country tells.  She will bring copies, as well as two or three other sources addressing this issue. She looks forward to an open and stimulating discussion!

    Helen just moved to Brooktondale six weeks ago.  Her book “Footprints on the Land” is a cross-section of our country: 52 first-person accounts by contemporary Americans on race and racism in the United States.  The storytellers are black, white, Native American, Filipino, Chinese and Latino, and range in age from 19 to 82.

    She has been an anti-racist activist since the 1960s as a member of People for Human Rights in Philadelphia. The group was formed by white men who addressed institutional racism and white privilege. She continues to facilitate workshops on these topics, and has included them in her Sociology classes.

  •  Dec 6: 2014 Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair
  • Dec 9: From Scarcity to Abundance: Developing All the Diverse Leaders Your Organization Needs, 9am – 1pm. Led by Margo Hittleman and Phoebe Brown, Natural Leaders Initiative. Location: Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins, 615 Willow Ave. Fee: $75 (non-profits); $100 (businesses and for-profit organizations). A limited number of scholarships are available for those who can not attend without one. The fee includes healthy snacks to tide you over until lunch-time. Registration: To register, or for more information, email mjh17@cornell.edu or call 272-2292, x 167. Mail a check made out to “CCE-Tompkins/NLI” to 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850. To pay by credit card, call 272-2292.
  • Dec 10: “A Diversity of Perspectives” panel discussion, Borg Warner Room of the Tompkins County Public Library, 5.30-7.30pm. Panelists include Fabina Benites Colon.  Program Educator, Multicultural Resource Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Amy Kuo Somchanhmavong.  Associate Director, Service Learning, Public Service Center, Cornell University; Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo.  Professor of Political Science, Wells College; Luca Maurer.  Founding Director, The Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Education, Outreach, and Services, Ithaca College; and Sofia Villenas. Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Latina/o Studies Program at Cornell University. (Wawaweewa!)
  • Dec 13: Screening of Class Dismissed: A film about learning outside of the classroom at Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room, 2pm; organized by unschoolers Karen James & family (via Fingerlakes Unschoolers Network)
  • Dec 14: Holiday Artists Market
  • Jan 5: Deadline for “What Would MLK Say?” Poster Contest

NYC Events (via Edge Left /David McReynolds)

  • Dec 4 – 21: Bread & Puppet Theater: “Captain Boycott” [recommended for ages 13 & up], along with “The Nothing Is Not Ready Circus” [recommended for everyone]. Theater for the New City (Johnson Theater), 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th St.), New York City. For advance tickets, visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net or call 212-254-1109.
  • Dec 9: New Politics Forum: Slamming the Brakes on Ecological Collapse and Transitioning to a Sustainable World, 7pm, YaYa Network – 224 West 29th St, 14th floor (between 8th and 9th Aves., Manhattan)
  • Dec 13: War Resisters League‘s 2nd Annual Ralph DiGia Award Ceremony Honoring Ruth Benn, 638 E. Sixth Street, NYC, 7PM

Other Ithaca announcements:

  • “It’s not too early to think about snow!  With winter weather coming upon us, the Tompkins County Office for the Aging is updating its listing of snow shovelers.  Deep snow and icy sidewalks are dangerous for everyone but especially for senior citizens.  Many seniors are not able to remove the snow from their sidewalks without assistance.  If you are interested in assisting seniors by shoveling or plowing, on either a paid or volunteer basis, please call the Tompkins County Office for the Aging at 274-5482.  If your name was listed last year, and would like to be listed again, please notify us.”
  • Join a winter CSA to save money on your grocery bill and support local farmers!

Folks whose links I’ve posted: Is this sort of reposting useful to you? And folks to whom these links are new: Are these announcements of interest? Is this kind of post useful or not? Feedback is very appreciated! Thanks for reading / commenting.


Here’s to a future with no borders

Yesterday was July 4th. I admit I find fireworks (and crowds) overwhelming, and was relieved to be in bed with my wife and baby as the pyrotechnic thudding and loud, distant music did their thing.

But yesterday I felt what I’ve only begun to feel in the past few years, as my understanding of our country and the way we fit into the world has deepened: Pride. I feel proud to be American, and happy to be here. I love that I can be gay, and trans, and married to a woman. I’m bothered that there are still a lot of ways in which I’m a second class citizen but those are increasingly due to my status as an Earthling and a woman and a trans person and a vegan pacifist unaffiliated with any major religion, and not my status as an American. It turns out that 2013 is beginning to be a pretty good time to be queer in America. For the first time I’m really starting to feel like America doesn’t mind that I’m here, and maybe even values my family’s contributions to and presence in society.





This is a milk filter after the milking.
This gross stuff is pus, or as the industry calls it: “somatic cells”. This pus is in every bag or carton of milk in the supermarket, along with the fecal residue, disinfectants and cleaners, and who knows what else.

Another reason not to drink milk.

And yes, this is true, not ‘vegan propaganda’. 

Today’s dairy cows endure annual cycles of artificial insemination, pregnancy and birth, and mechanized milking for 10 out of 12 months (including 7 months of their 9-month pregnancies). This excessive metabolic drain overburdens the cows, who are considered “productive” for only two years and are slaughtered for hamburger meat when their profitability drops, typically around their fourth birthday, a small fraction of their natural lifespan.

Turning dairy cows into milk machines has led to epidemics of so-called “production-related diseases,” such as lameness and mastitis (udder infections), the two leading causes of dairy cow mortality in the industry. 

Because of the mastitis epidemic in the U.S. dairy herd, the dairy industry continues to demand that American milk retain the highest allowable “somatic cell” concentration in the world. Somatic cell count, according to the industry’s ownNational Mastitis Council, “reflects the levels of infection and resultant inflammation in the mammary gland of dairy cows,” but somatic cells are not synonymous with pus cells, as has sometimes been misleadingly suggested. Somatic just means “body.” Just as normal human breast milk has somatic cells—mostly non-inflammatory white blood cells and epithelial cells sloughed off from the mammary gland ducts—so does milk from healthy cows. The problem is that many of our cows are not healthy.

According to the USDA, 1 in 6 dairy cows in the United States suffers from clinical mastitis, which is responsible for 1 in 6 dairy cow deaths on U.S. dairy farms. This level of disease is reflected in the concentration of somatic cells in the American milk supply. Somatic cell counts greater than a million per teaspoon are abnormal and “almost always” caused by mastitis. When a cow is infected, greater than 90% of the somatic cells in her milk are neutrophils, the inflammatory immune cells that form pus. The average somatic cell count in U.S. milk per spoonful is 1,120,000.

Speak English!: Racist Revolt As Coca-Cola Airs Multilingual ‘America the Beautiful’ SuperBowl Ad

Speak English!: Racist Revolt As Coca-Cola Airs Multilingual ‘America the Beautiful’ SuperBowl Ad


During the SuperBowl, the Coca-Cola Company aired a commercial to promote their brand as every other mega corporation who has a few million dollars to blow on a 30 to 60 seconds of television airtime. It was a nice commercial titled “It’s Beautiful” in which American people did American things…








Apparently some vegans are telling people not to eat honey to support bees.


Buy honey (local if possible) -> support beekeepers -> support bees.

I swear people don’t even think this stuff out. 
Beekeepers provide bees with an environment in which they can live, and are encouraged to thrive. Bees then have a big huge giant person who can deal with any threats to the hive. 
Yes, honey is a winter food supply for bees, but beekeepers (unless they’re dicks, in which case they’d be shooting themselves in the foot) will NEVER take too much honey from a hive, and will always ensure that bees have enough food. Think about it, you’re not going to starve a source of income/hobby, are you?

So now.
Support beekeepers.
Support bees.


I think a few ppl took Bee Movie too seriously.

Can a knowledgable vegan tackle this post please? I can’t imagine this is logical.

Yes, I can and I have several issues with that.

Wild bees exist. Many different races, on top of that. Bees do not fucking need human support to live.

The whole “without us bees will die” argument is wrong, because bees literally die because of us spraying pesticides on plants while bees are out pollinating

and because humans feed them substitutes instead of letting them
nurture their young with honey
(that’s 2 links)

There is more than enough cruelty involved in honey.





Watch the more than honey documentary and shut the goddamn hell up forever.

this needs to be reblogged thousands of times with that takedown because I’m god damn tired of seeing thousands of notes on these misguided anti vegan posts when what matters here are the bees, not how humans are their saviors