Sunday Train: The Rumored Death of Peak Oil Was Greatly Exaggerated

From Earth Insight by Nafeez Ahmed, hostsed by the Gardian, Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will 'break economies':

Dr. Richard G. Miller, who worked for BP from 1985 before retiring in 2008, said that official data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), US Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), among other sources, showed that conventional oil had most likely peaked around 2008.

Dr. Miller critiqued the official industry line that global reserves will last 53 years at current rates of consumption, pointing out that "peaking is the result of declining production rates, not declining reserves." Despite new discoveries and increasing reliance on unconventional oil and gas, 37 countries are already post-peak, and global oil production is declining at about 4.1% per year, or 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) per year:

"We need new production equal to a new Saudi Arabia every 3 to 4 years to maintain and grow supply... New discoveries have not matched consumption since 1986. We are drawing down on our reserves, even though reserves are apparently climbing every year. Reserves are growing due to better technology in old fields, raising the amount we can recover – but production is still falling at 4.1% p.a. [per annum]."




RIP Reverend BobbieJean Baker

 photo BobbieJean_zps26e4cf86.gifReverend BobbieJean Baker, 49, of City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco and Oakland had officiated at a New Year's Eve Watch Night worship service in Oakland, along with Bishop Yvette Flunder from the same church.

Baker moved to the Bay Area in 1992 from Memphis, TN. She served as west Coast Regional TransSaints Minister of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and Lay Minister at Transcending Transgender Ministries at City of Refuge. She was also lead singer of the all transgender member Transcendence Gospel Choir. She also worked at San Francisco's Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center as a substance abuse and transgender health counsellor.

My purpose is to help you break whatever it is that had you bound so that you can move to better yourself. I'm willing to hold hands and walk you through every phase, but I am not willing to be your babysitter. There comes a time when you need to really step up and do the work for you.

--BobbieJean Baker, to her clients

 photo BobbieJeanx400_zpsf18ce839.jpgAt the service Bishop Flunder says Baker seemed to know she didn't have much time left.

She gave best wishes to everyone, wonderful, kind words. She went way out of her way speaking to everyone and wishing them the best for the coming year. It was incredible the space that she was in.

--Bishop Flunder

After the service Reverend Baker went to the home of gay deacon Bobby Wiseman where there was to be a traditional meal of corn bread and black-eyed peas.

[It was almost as if she knew] that something was coming, because she was so unusually specific in many of the ways she was going around talking to different people and encouraging them through their own struggles.

--Bishop Yvette Flunder

Wiseman says that at about 2:30 am he was driving his Ford Expedition west on I-580 in Oakland to take Baker home, "remembering the good times and the friends that we've lost over the years" when a silver and black car bumped his SUV on the left before swerving away. Wiseman's vehicle fishtailed and then rolled two or three times before landing upside down at the Park Boulevard exit. Wiseman managed to crawl out of the vehicle through the window, but he and a bystander were unable to free Baker. Both of them had been wearing seat belts.

Baker died at the scene.




MITNews: Even when test scores go up, some cognitive abilities don’t

In the "not really news for those who have taught the students subjected to the standardized test system" Department, from MITNews:

Such tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills that students have acquired in school — what psychologists call “crystallized intelligence.” However, schools whose students have the highest gains on test scores do not produce similar gains in “fluid intelligence” — the ability to analyze abstract problems and think logically — according to a new study from MIT neuroscientists working with education researchers at Harvard University and Brown University.



CDC: 27% of Trans women are HIV+

On December 9, 2013 the Center for Disease Control released a report entitled HIV Among Transgender People.

Two days ago Leela Ginelle, communications and development intern for TransActive Education and Advocacy wrote an Op-Ed at the Advocate: Why the CDC's Latest HIV Report Is So Alarming.

The CDC report says an estimated 27% of transgender women are HIV positive, which is nearly 50 times as high as the rate for other adults. A New York City study found that more than 90% of newly diagnosed transwomen are African-American or Latina, and more than half are in their 20s.

Ginelle asks the question, "Why?"



Couric Sticks Her Foot in It

Someone on Katie Couric's daytime talk show made a decision that they needed to do a show on transgender women. But nobody bothered to bring Couric up to speed on appropriate topics of conversation.

 photo carmen-carrera_zps6fbc0338.jpgChosen to be the targets of Couric's rudeness were model Carmen Carrera and actress Laverne Cox from Orange Is the New Black.

In fact Couric introduced Carrera by stating that "she was born a man and that's why she is on our show."

Unfortunately, Couric seemed unable to get beyond a schoolyard fascination with the women's "private parts.

Carrera told her the question was invasive and "after transition there's still life to live, I still have career goals, I still have family goals."



Gender Prison: Transgender People and the Police (3 stories)

The Philadelphia Police Department is implementing a new set of guidelines which instruct officers on how to interact with transgender people. The nine pages of guidelines were developed by Deputy Commisioner Kevin Bethel, working in concert with members of the Philadelphia GLBT community.

The times have evolved, and not just within the Police Department.. You see it across the board in so many different areas. We have to learn to adapt to the times.

--Lt. John Stanford, police spokesman




Satanic Circus Geeks

The haters have been losing on same-sex marriage, so they've decided to direct their hate at transgender people.

Some right-wing idiot (Vic Eliason of Voice of Christian Youth) decided that he needed to give radio time to hater-in-chief Peter LaBarbera Americans for Truth about Homosexuality.

The hors d'ouevre they offered was calling the announcement by Robin Roberts, anchor of Good Morning America, that she was in a long-term same-sex relationship "a tragedy."

Roberts posted a statement on Facebook about her recovery from cancer, which included the following:

At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude.

I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health.

I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life.

I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.

This caused Michelle Obama to tweet support:

I am so happy for you and Amber!

You continue to make us all proud.


"All" did not include the haters.



A Funeral for The Trans of Termini

 photo chiesa_del_gesu__casa_professa_zps17e31b4f.jpgThere has been plenty of fascination with the new pope's statement, "Who am I to judge?" when asked about his views of gay and lesbian people.

But there has been no change in church doctrine. As Parker Marie Molloy pointed out in a recent Op-ed, the pope has touted a change in tone while the content underneath the tone remains virtually unchanged.

Molloy points to the fact that the tone correction has not extended to the church's views on transgender people, as enunciated in his 2012 Christmas homily by Pope Benny:

[Bernheim] quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: 'one is not born a woman, one becomes so' (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term 'gender' as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: 'male and female he created them' (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female — hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defense of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.

Molloy admits that it is not fair to hold Francis accountable to the statements of Benedict but he says we should not forget that those words stand as the most recent papal remarks about transgender people and they are the most mean-spirited remarks ever tossed our way as a subset of society.

Can anyone who reads Benny's statement not understand how much a transperson reading it would feel less then human and deserving of all the hate directed towards us?



Connecticut prohibits health insurance discrimination against transgender people

A December 19 bulletin from the State of Connecticut's Insurance Department prohibits health insurers in that state from implementing a blanket policy denying transition-related health care. Insurers will only be able to evaluate medical necessity of any given treatment on case by case bases.

This makes Connecticut the fifth state to require providers to cover treatments related to gender transition, after California, Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont.

[Connecticut] wanted to go out and affirmatively make [the policy] very clear.

As we were turning the corner into the new year, we just wanted to make sure every constituency was clearly heard.

--Deputy Insurance Commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling



The Health Care Problem in the US is a Price Fixing Scam

Passing the racket onto an intermediary and then dumping it on the consumer is part of the scam. Medicare needs full market share so it can bring all the prices down since no one will RICO Act providers, for profit hospitals, and insurance companies passing that cost in addition to 13% extra for administration costs onto you even with the ACA. Forcing you to participate in this scam is what we call Obamacare.




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