Fight for your rights

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Don’t let the drug war fuel police militarization.

Take Action

Tell Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to suspend the program that supplies military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

 
 

Dear Civilian,

The dramatic uprising in Ferguson, MO following the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer has made headlines around the globe.

The aggressive display of militarized police deployed in the community was a shocking contrast to the values we share as Americans. It is a reminder that many local police agencies now resemble — and often behave like — armies. The drug war has fueled this disturbing escalation of police militarization in our country.

The Pentagon is finally under scrutiny for the program that supplies free military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, typically to wage the drug war with few constraints on how it can be used. Now, President Obama and members of Congress are calling for a review. You can help amplify the call for reform.

Tell Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to suspend the program that supplies military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

There’s something fundamentally un-American about transforming local police agencies into paramilitary squads. The unnecessary use of force and military equipment to serve warrants, search and execute raids on nonviolent American citizens for drug law violations has terrorizing effects, and is disproportionately used in poor, black and brown communities. It’s yet another way the war on drugs is corrupting American society.

The federal program under scrutiny provides local law enforcement agencies with “surplus” military equipment, including armored vehicles, tear gas, grenade launchers and other weaponry. This equipment is mostly used to wage the war on drugs in America’s most vulnerable communities.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has the authority to suspend it. Take action now and demand that Secretary Hagel end the program that fosters excessive police militarization.

Military-style policing puts lives at risk, undermines police credibility and increases tensions in communities across the country. We saw it in the armored trucks and tear gas used against protesters in Ferguson, and we see it in the use of SWAT teams for a hundred drug raids every day.

Our communities are under siege by excessive police militarization and the battle equipment is being supplied in the name of the drug war. Make your voice heard: tell Defense Secretary Hagel we can no longer let the drug war fuel military-style policing in our communities.

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance 

Get tested

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Ladies and gentlemen,

Get tested!

Go to your doctor and get a check up at least once a year for your sexual health. Whether you have one partner or multiple partners, whether you are emotionally monogamous or not, get tested!

At least once a year when you visit your doctor you should have the full spectrum of sexually active related medical tests ran to update your medical records. ***Including having your blood drawn.

If you are sexually active, be responsible.

Taking care of yourself takes care of others.

For more information and direction visit the most well seasoned sexual health care facility of our times website Planned Parenthood:
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-info/stds-hiv-safer-sex

There’s no excuse for ignorance especially when it comes to HIV testing. Most cities in the United state have programs available that offer free HIV blood tests to anyone interested.

Go to: http://www.Aids.gov where you can find a local free testing site near you or contact your local health department.

Most humans will experience at least one case of Sexually transmitted disease in their lifetime. Although experiencing one or contracting a virus can be devastating at first, like most sports injuries, it is not the end of the world!

In most cases the worst thing that can happen is a tough insensitive interaction with a partner you share the personal information with who takes it badly. And honestly, that’s their own ignorance and immaturity. Do not allow emotional stress to effect your decision to find out everything there is to know about YOU. Be well.

Take care of yourself and each other.

Get tested!

Sam Smith – Lay Me Down (Epique Remix)

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The track ‘Lay Me Down’ is an absolute golden feast for the senses and the Epique remix does this track some justice and more.   I’m hooked on this.

source: http://www.yourmusicradar.com/sam-smith-lay-me-down-epique-remix/

“FURRIES” UNITE FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

Conventional Wisdom: Anthrocon

“Furries” unite from around the globe, as captured by photographer Arthur Drooker

by David Graver in Culture on 29 July 2014

Arthur Drooker, Conventional Wisdom, Conventions, Furries, Photo Books, Photographers, Photography

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“This is the highlight of my year,” Thumpie Bunny Eve shared with photographer Arthur Drooker, while sat atop a piano, wearing high heels, exuding sexuality—and wearing a rabbit costume. This was just one scene at Anthrocon, the world’s largest convention for anthropomorphics, the humanlike animal characters more commonly referred to as “furries.” Anthrocon is the latest stop on Drooker’s Conventional Wisdom tour, during which the photographer has brought his lens—and his audience—into the weird and wonderful world of eccentric conventions, from Santas to sexual explorers. We’ve been following himfor a year now, as he accrues imagery for a book-in-progress, and Anthrocon is most certainly one of the highlights.

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During the 4 July holiday weekend, furries made their way from around the globe to Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center and, according to Drooker, turned it “into a wild kingdom.” He notes that this year’s gathering drew a record 5,861 attendees—the most since its inception in 1996. Drooker further contextualizes the scene: “Imagine a mass meeting of mascots and you get the idea.” That said, through his own reporting, Drooker discovered the roots of anthropomorphics and cleared up a lot of misconceptions the community has befallen.

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First, “A furry is a fan of walking, talking animals; the idea of making animals more like humans, or making humans more like animals,” Drooker learned from Dr Courtney Plante, a psychologist who is conducting a long term survey of the fandom, and a furry himself. “What that entails for everyone differs considerably.” Further, Drooker makes two noteworthy observations. Furries hail from various backgrounds and they aren’t necessarily in costume; a tier dubbed the “fursuiters” are in fact the ones who come adorned, sporting anything from “inexpensive tails to elaborate full-body costumes that cost as much as $5000.” Additionally, the convention is dominated by a family feeling—one that runs contrary to its media portrayal as being hyper-sexual.

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The vast, vast majority of furries who have suits, it’s a cherished thing, part of your self-identity. A lot of them don’t think of it in a sexual way. It’s not what it’s there for. It’s not what you do with it.

“Sex in a fursuit is nearly impossible, if not totally undesirable. Donning one of these thick faux fur creations is ‘akin to wearing a sofa on your back,’ as furries often describe it,” Drooker shares with CH. “A fursuit limits one’s dexterity and vision. The temperature can climb to over 100 degrees in there, causing dehydration if one doesn’t take a water break or wear a cooling vest.” Rather, “The vast, vast majority of furries who have suits, it’s a cherished thing, part of your self-identity,” Dr Plante says. “A lot of them don’t think of it in a sexual way. It’s not what it’s there for. It’s not what you do with it.” Rather, it’s an expression of a fursona—an animal identity that symbolizes who the wearers are or what they aspire to be.

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At Anthrocon, people can comfortably embrace their fursona, embraced by a like-minded community. “Every species of the fandom felt celebrated,” Drooker says. “There were meet-ups for cats (Feline Friendly Furry Fiasco), reptiles (Gathering of the Scalies), even rats and mice (Rodents!).” On top of this he observed activities as far fetched as “games such as Pawpets Gone Wild and Whose Lion Is It Anyway?” As well as workshops like Transfurmations, in which tips were offered up on both fursuit construction and character development. The convention also featured a nightly dance. Altogether, “Anthrocon was a zoo like no other,” Drooker concludes. But moreover, those inside this special world shared the most important observation: the outside world is changing and the prejudice against furries is slimming. Maybe many of the smiles found therein will soon break free.

Cool Hunting was invited to follow Arthur Drooker behind-the-scenes as he continues to survey and photograph conventions around the US. All images in this ongoing series are by Arthur Drooker.