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

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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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Gender Prison: 20 years

Twenty years ago today.

It was the morning of New Year's Eve, 1993, when Lisa Lambert's mother found the bodies of her daughter and her friends Brandon Teena and Philip DeVine in the house she rented in near Falls City in Richardson County, NE. Lisa's son, Tanner, was crying in his crib.

The cause of the triple murder at its base surrounded the identity of Teena. Although Brandon dated women and had a Nebraska ID card which categorized him as a male, was born a female named Teena Renae Brandon in 1972 in Lincoln.

For many Americans, Brandon Teena's death was their first introduction to transgender issues, and 20 years later, we still see alarmingly high rates of violence directed toward transgender people.

--Michael Silverman, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

Brandon's struggles are not that uncommon still today.

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One more legal ruling on same-sex marriage…this time from Indiana

I am sure you have seen the stories about the recent legal rulings about same-sex marriage in New Mexico, Utah and Ohio.

But there has been one case that has so far snuck beneath the radar. I was planning on covering it last Tuesday, but came down sick with the flu. I'm still sick, but a bit better.

This case comes out of southern Indiana. David Paul Summers and Angela Summers married in Brown County, IN on October 30, 1999. During the marriage Mr. Summers was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Mr. Summers then decided to transition and legally changed his name to Melanie Davis in 2005. A Marion County judge ordered the gender on Davis' birth certificate changed from "male" to "female" in 2008 to conform with her gender identity, legal name and appearance.

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Marley was dead

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

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Hellraisers Journal: Big Tree in Central Square Shines As Ludlow Tent Colony Celebrates Christmas

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Wednesday December 23, 1903
From the El Paso Herald: United Mine Workers of America to Hold Convention

The annual convention in Indianapolis of the United Mine Workers of America this year carries with it more significance than any convention within the last five years, not excepting even the assembly that was followed by the declaration of the great anthracite strike. If the reports that are circulated at the headquarters of the miners' organization in that city are to be believed, the convention, and especially the joint conference between operators and miners that will follow its adjournment, will witness an important struggle. Upon the deliberations of the joint conference depends the wage scale for the year 1904. It is now asserted that the miners will carry to this joint conference a demand for a 10 per cent, increase, together with a demand for several important concessions that will have a far-reaching effect throughout the bituminous field. At the same time, it is reasonably certain that the operators will carry to the joint conference a demand for a 20 per cent reduction in the wage scale now prevailing.

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Sunday Train: Bringing This Oil Tanker to a Halt

Its been said that it takes miles for a fully-loaded super-tanker to come to a stop, because an ordinary stop takes 20 minutes, and even an emergency, or "crash", stop takes 14 minutes. But that is less than the blink of an eye compared to the time it will take to bring the emissions of CO2 to a stop.

As Do the Math reminds us, in order to have some plausible chance (far short of certainty, by the way) of leaving global warming at under the 3.6°F that implies that the already ongoing climate catastrophe tips over into the super-catastrophe range, we need to keep additional CO2 emissions at under 565 gigatons. And we have computed reserves equivalent to 2,795 gigatons. So we must, by hook or by crook, find a way to refrain from consuming 80% of our CO2.

For the US, our main focus has to be on our energy emissions due to petroleum, coal, and natural gas, since 85.7% of our total CO2 emissions are due to energy production. As of 2011 41% of our emissions from energy production comes from petroleum emissions, 34% from coal, and 24% from natural gas. Of that 41% due to petroleum, 15% is from domestic petroleum production, and 26% from petroleum imports. So if the United States were to today achieve petroleum independence from carbon-neutral energy sources and energy savings, and totally replace coal combustion with carbon-neutral energy sources and energy savings, that would save 60% of the 86% of emissions from energy production, or 52% of the total. We would "only" have to cut the remaining energy-related emissions and the 14% from other sources by 60% to get to an equal proportional share of an 80% reduction.

However, the target we have to aim at is more ambitious than this. First, fossil fuels are non-renewable, and our timeline for the persistence of CO2 in the atmosphere is around a century. We don't have a century's worth of fossil fuels at the current rate of global consumption, so cutting back our consumption by 80% of the present rate is not enough.

And second, because of the time that it will take to switch to a low carbon emissions society, it is highly likely that by the time that a low carbon emissions society is within reach, we will have already emitted close to 565 gigatons.

This is why our target is no longer a "low net carbon emissions" society, but a "zero net carbon emissions" society, since we've likely already passed the "ordinary stop" stopping distance, and are coming up upon the "crash stop" stopping distance.

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Another type of proposal for educational reform

Preface

This diary is not one of those calls for reform that argues that "the schools have failed" and advocates more and harder work for all parties -- that sort of reform was rebutted admirably in a (1996) book titled "The Manufactured Crisis" by David C. Berliner and Bruce J. Biddle. Berliner and Biddle show that the schools do well at what they do and that their main problem is that some of their students are materially disadvantaged, a theme which I will discuss in detail below.

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Hellraisers Journal: Mother Jones Will Bring Gifts to the Strikers' Children on Christmas Day

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Monday December 21, 1903
From The Arizona Republican: "Readjustment" of Miners' Wages Possible

Cleveland. O., Dec. 20-Coal operators of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania will raise the price of steam coal at the mines. This has become apparent through the gossip of the coal men who are in conference at the coal club in the Hollenden. It is explained that the prices have been greatly demoralized during the past summer and that a readjustment is imperative.

It has become patent that the question of miners' wages cannot be avoided. While the operators can take no official action in this connection their attitude will, nevertheless, be a pretty clear index to the position which will be taken by the interstate coal operators representatives in the negotiations between themselves and the delegates from the United Mine Workers' union in the coming conference in Indianapolis. The coal operators will insist upon the withdrawal of the present wage scale and the acceptance of a reduction.

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