Thinking Beyond ENDA

Transsexual and Transgender activists like Jillian Weiss have put a lot of focus upon getting protections for the various peoples associated with trans prefixed words added to the forth coming ENDA bill.

Let’s assume we are added and it passes. (By no means a done deal) We have Obama who has promised to sign it, although according to Michelangelo Signorile  http://www.signorile.com/2009/11/lgbt-leaders-and-low-hanging-fruit.html President Obama has to this point failed to tackle issues he could have changed with executive decree and has put harder issues such as DADT on the back burner.

The thing we have to realize is that ENDA is just a start.  An important start if you are being discriminated against in a job you already have but kind of meaningless in an economy that has been shock doctrined into accepting the out sourcing of so many jobs that 10% unemployment could become the new standard of full employment replacing the old one of 5%.

Welcome to part time hell where people with BAs are working at Walmart and Target as clerks and stockers.  Where people with MSCEs are working at Best Buy and Frys.

Without health insurance, steady hours, regular schedules, paid sick time or vacation.

Nearly 40 years of neo-liberal Ayn Rand policies accelerating in the years since Reagan have reduced the status of the hourly wage employee to peon or virtual slavery.

Good luck if you are over 50 and forced to change jobs.  A virtual certainty for those below the top in a world of down sizing, human resource adjustments and out sourcing.

Barbara Ehrenreich gives a good picture of those forced to hunt for employment in her book Bait and Switch.

If this passes then we need to work on larger issues such as the Employee Free Choice Act and National Health Insurance as well as Minimum “Living Wage” laws.

The struggle is a life long thing and goes far beyond transsexual or transgender issues.  Being transsexual or transgender just makes you part of the oppressed people of the world who are a minority only because we are too busy fighting each other to deal with the real sources of our oppression.

Support ENDA

Support the Public Option

Support the Employee Free Choice Act

Support ACORN

Support Unions

76% of Mass. voters in favor of protecting transgender people from discrimination

There has been talk about how hard it will be to pass a Transinclusive ENDA yet numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as many cities have passed just such anti-discrimination measures.  Where transinclusiveness has been added at a later date to hate crimes laws it has tended to require less effort than the passage of the original bill.

All this tends to suggest that a certain level of critical mass has been reached among those people who abstractly favor equality and do so at a higher rate than they favor same sex marriage.  Even though same sex marriage is also a matter of equality.

I am not suggesting that passing ENDA will be easy, it will require all the different “communities” to put aside often venomous differences in order to work as a coalition to pass something beneficial to all.

ENDA is just a start as all American workers still face numerous work related issues that can only be approached by putting aside differences of class, race, ethnicity, religion and yes sex, sexuality and gender to restore the rights and dignity workers deserve as free people in a free society.

From Bay Windows

http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=98910
by Hannah Clay Wareham
Staff Reporter
Wednesday Nov 11, 2009

76% of Mass. voters in favor of protecting transgender people from discrimination”

The majority of Massachusetts’s voters support legislative protections for transgender people, a Lake Research Partners poll found this month, including 81% of women.

“Support for the law is deep and broad and stretches across demographic and geographic groups,” the poll analysis read.

“Voters understand discrimination and don’t want to see it allowed in the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Carl Sciortino (D), lead sponsor of a proposed bill that would extend protection against discrimination to transgender people, said. “Legislators seriously underestimate their constituents if they think voters don’t get this. It’s time for Massachusetts to join the 13 other states that ban discrimination against their transgender citizens.”

More than 4 in 10 voters had a ’very positive’ reaction regarding the anti-discrimination bill, the poll revealed, and 76% of respondents had an overall ’positive reaction.’ According to the analysis, “this data solidly places Massachusetts in the top tier of states supporting protections.”

400 likely voters also indicated during phone interviews conducted from Nov. 4 – 8 that they would be more likely to vote for their legislator if their legislator voted for the bill (H. 1728/S. 1687).

“Every day in Massachusetts, transgender people lose their jobs, are evicted, suffer harassment, and are denied services because of who they are,” said Sciortino. “Let’s not tolerate that any more. Let’s pass this bill.”

Female voters were particularly strong in their support of the anti-discrimination bill; 81% of women reported a ’positive reaction’ and 49% reported a ’very positive’ reaction.

The analysis concluded that the anti-discrimination bill “is not a controversial issue for voters; equality, prohibiting discrimination, and extending legal protections to everyone has become a core value in Massachusetts.”

A coalition of Massachusetts organizations released the poll findings Nov. 11, including the Massachusetts chapter of National Organization for Women; the National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter; ACLU of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; MassEquality; Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus; Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association; and 70 other member organizations of the Transgender Civil Rights Coalition.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off

Fort Worth / Tarrant County Transgender Day of Remembrance

From Kelli Busey

http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2009/11/11th-annual-tarrant-county-transgender.html

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Curtis Smith
Telephone: 817-845-2124
Email: curtisls7@yahoo.com

TARRANT COUNTY TRANSGENDER REMEMBRANCE
11th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Location: Carr Chapel on TCU
Address: 2855 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76129
Date: November 20, 2009 Time: 7:30 pm
Facebook

Since 1998, each November 20th is set aside to memorialize those who were murdered due to anti-transgender hatred, prejudice or ignorance. Tarrant County will commemorate the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Carr Chapel on November 20th beginning at 7:30 PM. The community is welcome to attend this service sponsored by Brite Divinity of TCU, Agape MCC, Trinity MCC, Sexuality Education Center and the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA).

The TDOR will be an opportunity to express love and respect for all people. It will remind participants that they are all a part of the human family, daughters and sons, cisgender(non-transgender) and transgender people together. Allies of the gender diverse will stand alongside us in this ceremony to memorialize, honor and look forward to a day that differences and gender variance can be celebrated without fear of violence.

Agape MCC has many transgender people in regular attendance at their worship services including their Senior Pastor, Rev. David Wynn, a transgender male. They also host a cross-dressing men‟s group monthly. “Agape MCC has always held a strong commitment to providing sanctuary for gender diverse people,” Rev. Wynn declares. Rev. Wynn clarifies, “In many ways transphobia appears to be the „last acceptable form of prejudice‟ in the culture today, thus setting up transgender people to be victims of violence and those who are seen as expendable.” Rev. Wynn‟s goal of the service is, “To honor those who have paid the highest price for fearlessly being who they are and providing an enduring voice against transphobia. Our transgender community at Agape reflects our entire community in affirming Jesus’ radical inclusion and God’s unconditional love for all of creation.”

Curtis Smith, Pastoral Leader of Trinity MCC Arlington, reports that his church has been participating for the last 6 years. Smith explains, “Trinity’s transgender and questioning church members are a cherished people in Christ‟s communion. We feel enlightened by the TDOR and our ongoing “Would Jesus Discriminate” campaign as to the historical reservations our Gay and Lesbians congregants previously felt towards transgender people. We feel it is important for our members to respect all people and offer them an open communion.” “Last year,” Pastor Smith recalls, “Trinity MCC participated in the 2008 TDOR with Agape MCC by praying for victims as a bell was rung after each name was read of those who had died in that year to anti- transgender violence. It was a very somber and moving part of last year‟s TDOR service,” Smith said.

The Remembering Our Dead Web Project estimates that 2 people a month, on average are killed from violence against transgender people. Not that every person commemorated self-identified as transgender but each was a victim of violence based upon bias of gender variance. “Because intolerance and violence against the Transgender Community is often ignored, we remember those who have gone before us and we dedicate ourselves to life – living it responsibly, respectfully and lovingly. Life really comes down to treating others as we wish to be treated,” exclaims Dr. Rita Cotterly, PhD., Director of the Sexuality Education Center.

The Matthew Shepard/James Bryd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act recognizes that there is much work to be done locally as there are only 13 US states with Hate Crime Laws that include Gender Identity, Texas not being one. A provision of this law is that it authorizes and funds the federal government to step in and prosecute hate crimes in states that are disinclined to do so.

Texas has had 20 recorded transgender deaths attributed to anti-transgender violence, with 3 of those occurring in DFW, only surpassed by New York and California. Internationally there have been 95 Deaths from January to October 22, 2009 which average 19 per month. Names, statistics, locations and causes of deaths can be found on the Transgender Day of Remembrance website at http://www.transgenderdor.org.

Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, PhD., of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University will be in attendance. On the Unfinished Lives Project website, Dr. Sprinkle reports, “”We must remember that the recent passage and signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law will not magically stop the killing. Record numbers of LGBTQ Americans, especially young transgender people of color, are dying violently all across the land. But the high water mark of hatred has been scotched with the stroke of a pen on the day President Obama kept his promise and signed the bill. The end of the beginning of full equality for my people has come. And we who believe in justice will not rest until it comes fully, so that all of us may love whom we choose without fear of violence.”

Kelli Anne Busey will be in attendance. Kelli, a woman of faith, authors planetransgender.blogspot.com and is founder and co-administrator of the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies. Kelli says “I believe that our Transgender Day of Remembrance is a critical component of our advocacy.” She elaborates, “The TDOR is emotional and spiritual because it educates and endears us with our current and potential allies as we lend a human touch to the horrific murders of transgender, gender queer, questioning, friends and lovers.”

The Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA) are locally based non-denominational activism group with members worldwide. DTAA membership believes that the world and especially the LGBT community is a, “Place for everyone. No Exceptions.” The DTAA was conceived while protesting the expulsion of transsexual entertainers from the Crews INN bar and hosted the first formal conversation with the openly gay Episcopal bishop, Bishop Gene Robinson. Since that time the DTAA has moved on to insure that the Dallas’s publicly funded homeless shelter ‘The Bridge’ policy and training manuals were amended so that weather related deaths such as that of Austin‟s Jennifer Gale’s, could not be attributable to hostile shelter conditions.

Both Agape MCC and Trinity MCC Arlington are members of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches which is the world’s largest and oldest Christian denomination with a primary affirming ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons. Known as “The Human Rights Church,” local MCC congregations are located in 28 countries. Both churches are currently participating with three other North Texas MCC churches in the “Would Jesus Discriminate? WhyWouldWe.org” campaign.

The Sexuality Education Center‟s director, Rita Cotterly, PhD, is well-known locally and nationally in the fields of human sexuality and sexuality education. She provides individual and group counseling, support groups and educational programs. Dr. Cotterly has conducted numerous sexuality educational sessions for a variety of organizations and educational programs on AIDS prevention, sexual orientation, safer sex, sexual ethics, and spirituality and sexuality.

XXX

For more information about this topic or to schedule interviews please call, Rev. David Wynn, revwynn@yahoo.com; Curtis Smith, curtisls7@yahoo.com; Dr. Rita Cotterly, PhD., drritac@gmail.com. Kelli Anne Busey, kellibusey@yahoo.com or Stephen V. Sprinkle, s.sprinkle@tcu.edu

Republi-Nazi Governor of Rhode Island Vetoes Same-Sex Funeral Rights

Bill would have allowed Same-Sex Partners the same rights taken for granted by married heterosexuals

Ultra right wing Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, of Rhode Island vetoed legislation Tuesday that would give same-sex couples in Rhode Island the same right to plan the funerals of their late partners as married heterosexual couples. (CBS)

The Christo-fascist ultra right wing Republican said the proposed protection represents a “disturbing trend” of the incremental erosion of heterosexual marriage. Rhode Island does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Carcieri took the typical lynch mob leader tact of proposing to put the equal rights of a minority up to vote. “If the General Assembly believes it would like to address the issue of domestic partnership, it should place the issue on the ballot and let the people of the State of Rhode Island decide,”

[Even though I am an atheist I have read the Bible from cover to cover and I seem to recall Pontus Pilate putting Jesus Christ’s life to the vote of a similar mob.  And these fucks actually call themselves Christians.  They better hope I’m right and there is no god.]

Democrats hold a veto-proof majority in the Legislature and will hopefully override this Nazi scumbag’s bigotry.

From AP

“Sen. Rhoda Perry and Rep. David Segal, the bill sponsors, said they would seek to override the veto. They proposed the legislation after one of their constituents was unable to retrieve the body of his late partner from the state medical examiner for weeks because they weren’t married or next-of-kin.

Gay rights supporters were indignant at the veto.

“It is absolutely unconscionable that Gov. Carcieri would step in the middle of people being able to take care of their loved ones at such a sorrowful time,” said Kathy Kushnir, executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, which advocates for gay marriage. “Why would he make it more difficult? I just don’t get it.”

The proposed funeral planning rights would apply to same-sex couples who have had a relationship for at least one year and pass other tests, such as owning property together. Carcieri said some of the guidelines were vague.”

AVER & TAVA Presidents Veterans Day Video Message to the President and Congress

Friends,
American Veterans For Equal Rights president Danny Ingram and Transgender American Veterans Association president Monica Helms have made a joint YouTube video appeal to President Obama and Congress to Lift the Ban on LGBT military service by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
On this Veterans’ Day, as President Obama considers sending more patriotic American troops to Afghanistan, AVER and TAVA remind the President of his campaign promise to repeal DADT.
Send the link to others and your Congressional reps.
Danny Ingram
President AVER
Monica Helms
President TAVA
Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off

Don’t Ask, Don’t Give: the gAyTM is officially shut down

Reposted with Pam’s permission

ORIGINAL AT:  http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/14025/dont-ask-dont-give-the-gaytm-is-officially-shut-down

by: Pam Spaulding

Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 16:44:14 PM EST

We’ve talked about the fatigue of being jerked around as a constituency, now several of my fellow bloggers have had enough and I’ve signed on to the effort launched by Joe Sudbay and John Aravosis of Americablog. (FYI (Tues., 3:58 ET: Joe caught me on my cell Monday as I was leaving the cell-free zone in hospital in Brooklyn, so that’s why I didn’t get on the endorsement list until later in the day).

The boycott is cosponsored by Daily Kos, Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, David Mixner, Andy Towle and Michael Goff of Towle Road, Paul Sousa (Founder of Equal Rep in Boston), Pam Spaulding, Robin Tyler (ED of the Equality Campaign, Inc.), Bil Browning for the Bilerico Project, and soon others.

It’s really more of a “pause,” than a boycott. Boycotts sounds so final, and angry. Whereas this campaign is temporary, and is only meant to help some friends – President Obama and the Democratic party – who have lost their way. We are hopeful that via this campaign, our friends will keep their promises.

So please sign the Petition and take a Pledge to no longer donate to the DNC, Organizing for America, or the Obama campaign until the President and the Democratic party keep their promises to the gay community, our families, and our friends.

Why should hard-earned LGBT dollars go to a party fast to line up with its palms outstretched to whisper sweet nothings in our collective ears, then turn away and tell us equality will have to wait until “X” occurs first. We’re not stupid. We just want our funds to go to the people in office or running for office who will focus on passing legislation that the “fierce advocate” can sign, since he’s stated numerous times he’ll sign it if it makes it to his desk. Well, put up or shut up.

Interestingly, one would expect a response to this effort by the HRC to be negative. To the contrary, it looks like a tacit endorsement (FDL):

“Individual donors should always make their own careful assessments of how to spend limited political contributions. We all need to focus on the legislative priorities identified by AmericaBlog and with whatever tactic individuals decide to employ, the ultimate objective needs to be securing the votes we need to move our legislative agenda forward.”

David Dayen notes that “HRC hasn’t given to the DNC this year, as per the policy put in by Obama after his election that the Party cannot accept contributions from organizations structured as a C(4).” And if you read the whole post, other progressive blogs, equally dissatisfied with the powers that be straying from progressive causes, are about ready to call a boycott of donations to the DCCC and the DSCC.FAQs are below the fold.

Pam Spaulding :: Don’t Ask, Don’t Give: the gAyTM is officially shut down

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is this?
We are asking voters to pledge to withhold contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, and the Obama campaign until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is passed, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) is repealed, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is repealed -– all of which President Obama repeatedly promised to do if elected.

Why are you asking people to take this pledge?
Candidate Obama promised during the campaign to be the gay community’s “fierce advocate.” He and the Democratic party have not kept their promise.
Can you give examples of how the President and Democrats have not been fierce advocates for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans?

But won’t your pledge hurt Democrats?
It never hurts Democrats to keep their promises to the voters. The American people respect strong leaders who have the courage to stick to their beliefs. And it will only help Democrats in the next election to stand by their commitments to a core constituency. If Democratic voters aren’t motivated, they won’t vote. We are concerned that the President’s failure to fulfill his promises may suppress voter participation not only from gay Democrats, but from our families, friends and allies. In a very real way, this is an effort to ensure that we get-out-the-vote in 2010, 2012 and beyond.

But if you don’t give money to the DNC, won’t that help elect Republicans who are even worse on gay issues, and other issues Democrats care about?
We are not calling for a boycott of donations to the DNC. We are simply calling for a pause until the party follows through on its campaign promise to repeal DADT and DOMA, and pass ENDA. The party will get the same donations it would have gotten, when the promises are kept. The Democrats could choose to make good on their promise today. And by doing so, they will only further motivate the Democratic base to again turn out for the next election, a decidedly good thing.

You have to admit, gay rights is controversial – wouldn’t it be political suicide for Democrats to push gay rights?
Democrats should not have promised to support gay civil rights rights in exchange for our votes if they never intended to keep the promise. If we’re not controversial during the campaign, when politicians are happy to accept our votes and our money, we cannot accept being labeled controversial after our candidates win. We kept our part of the bargain, we voted for Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress. It’s entirely reasonable for us to ask our elected officials to keep their part of the bargain too.

What’s more, gay rights are not controversial. Americans favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military by a margin of 69% – 26%.  By a margin of 57% – 37%, “A clear majority of Americans (57%) favors allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples.” That can’t happen if DOMA is the law.  And in fact, if these civil rights promises were controversial, they would have hurt candidate Obama at the polls. But, he proudly and loudly proclaimed his support for LGBT equality, and he won.

No matter how disappointed you are, aren’t Democrats still better than Republicans?
The Republican party is terrible on gay issues. That doesn’t excuse the Democratic party breaking specific promises to the gay community made in exchange for our votes. We didn’t break our promise at the ballot box, the Democrats shouldn’t break theirs after we helped put them into office.

President Obama has only been in office less than a year, why the rush?
In less than a year, serious damage has already been done to the President’s commitments to the gay community. The problem isn’t only that he hasn’t been quick enough to fulfill his promises, it’s that he has actually backtracked on his promises and hurt the cause of civil rights and our community, as detailed above.

But aren’t there bigger priorities than gay rights for the Democrats to deal with, like health care and the economy?
Would President Obama, the DNC and the Congress tell other minorities that their civil rights aren’t important? The suggestion is that Democrats have more important things on the table. When won’t Democrats have more important priorities than the civil rights of gays and lesbians? Will there ever be a day, a year, an administration, when the President and the Congress won’t have serious crises to deal with? Suggesting that gay Americans and their friends and families wait until the President and Congress have nothing else to do is not only insulting, it’s a recipe for never. And regardless, we trust that this President, unlike the previous, can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Who is behind this effort?
John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay, two longtime political operatives in Washington, DC, and the editors of AMERICAblog.com. AMERICAblog has raised over $300,000 for Democratic candidates and progressive causes, including nearly $50,000 for then-candidate Barack Obama, supported by AMERICAblog early in the primaries.

The boycott is cosponsored by Daily Kos, Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, David Mixner, Andy Towle and Michael Goff of Towle Road, Paul Sousa (Founder of Equal Rep in Boston), Pam Spaulding, Robin Tyler (ED of the Equality Campaign, Inc.), Bil Browning for the Bilerico Project, and soon others.

You can contact us at: dncboycott@gmail.com

How can I help?
Sign the pledgetell your friends about this campaign, read the blog, and stay tuned for updates and action alerts on how you help make sure that the President, the Congress and the Democratic party keep their promises to the LGBT community, our families, our friends and our allies.

This is an excellent sweep of top progressive and LGBT bloggers and activists who have signed on right at the outset and many readers are backing this – are you ready to send the party hacks and WH foot-draggers a me$$age?

We Are What We Have Done

I am an existentialist not an essentialist.

I am also an out and proud atheist as well as a left winger, more anarchistic than Marxist.

I am currently reading Gail Collins book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. I just finished the chapter on the Civil Rights Movement that took place in the early 1960s where she described SNCC and how participation in the beloved community had a lifelong impact on the lives of those who were a part of that community.

It became the defining moment of their lives and forever shaped them.

I was part of SDS, the Anti-war in Vietnam Movement, including Weather Nation, those of us who had gone with Weatherman when SDS splintered in 1969 and who were left when the leadership went underground.  I had a deserter boyfriend during  my pre-op days and for a year after with an off again on again relationship that lasted a couple of years beyond that.

I was shaped by Second Wave Feminism to the point where my primary question on any set of politics is,  “Is this good for women?”

I read Kate’s book a couple of years before I first met her.  We first met at a National Coming Out Day Rally at UCLA.  I wore my Transsexual Menace t-shirt and realized that even wearing that didn’t necessarily out me.

Kate did a monologue from one of her performance pieces where she defined herself in negative terms.  I am not this, I am not that.  I thought of it as a rather nihilist approach because as an existentialist I define who and what I am by my history and by what I am currently doing, my dreams/desires to do in the future.

Later I met other ex-Scientologists and came to realize that Kate’s involvement in Scientology shaped her and her thinking even though she is no longer a Scientologist in the same way SDS had shaped me and how the people of SNCC were shaped by their life experiences.

Having been born with Transsexualism is a rather profound experience, having to deal with it and how we deal with it shapes our lives, even if we deny it.

Can we ever really escape what we were born with and what we went through as a result of what we were born?

Some of us deny our history and some embrace it.  Most like me tend to compartmentalize it as something shared with close friends and perhaps on the internet.  The strangest are those who are all over the internet proclaiming how “real” they are and denouncing all those who do not meet the precise standards laid out by those who see themselves as iconically the only true transsexuals (Oh I forgot.  They aren’t transsexual, they are HBS.).

I can see how being born with transsexualism shaped my life by making me an outsider in the town where I was born, and outsider to the classmates I was otherwise identical to in class, race and religion.  How it made me an outsider to that religion and even my family.  John Rechy, author of City of Night has said that LGBT/T people are the only minority born into the family of the oppressor.

My difference led to my being aware of the oppression I faced by matter of birth, and my liberal left rearing led to my feeling empathy towards others who were also oppressed for reasons of birth in matters such as race and class, sex or sexuality.

For a while I was so alienated from the identity politics and the presumption that one facet of my being defined my entire being that I lashed out, hopefully more at the identity politics than at individuals the way some on the internet  so obsessively do.  I wrote in terms of hegemony and colonization because I was bothered by the way in which the identity politics of transgender as umbrella not only erased transsexualism and its particular uniqueness  but turned WBTs into a tool to advance “the cause”.  However, that wasn’t the only aspect of transgender as umbrella that bothered me.  It also erased all those other unique experiences that shape us as individuals, even though we might be members of a class.

I saw that as very Stalinistic and not very realistic.  Just as I was shaped  by transsexualism, I was shaped by growing up working class and left.  I was shaped by being a radical left wing hippie, by being a feminist.  Just as Kate was shaped by having been a Scientologist.

Just as others were by growing up passing as male and receiving male privilege without having the the taking away of that privilege as an obvious transkid.  Growing up Fundamentalist or in a right wing and upper class back ground also shapes people.  Those who get their world view from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh become different people from those get their world view from MSNBC and Amy Goodman.

If the most influential books you’ve read have been the Bible and Atlas Shrugged you will see things different than if you found Being and Nothingness and The People’s History of the United States 1492 to Present to be the most influential.  The obviousness of this should not require pointing out, and yet one issue identity politics levels out these distinctions, erases the individual in favor of a monolithic group where the one common featured trait overcomes all the differences that make us individuals.

For this reason identity politics has been a resounding failure, degenerating almost immediately into turf wars over hurt feelings.  The success of the anti-war in Vietnam Movement was in its focus on the issue of America’s role in the war.  That was also its weakness in that once the draft was ended and the shift was made to an air war as well as secret war run by the CIA, many lost interest.

The same was true regarding the reaction to the anti-feminist backlash endured during the Reagan Regime.  Issues based struggle was lost to the time wasting matters of identity politics.

These days I blog.  I work long hours and I see a multitude of issues that can impact not only people who have had their lives impacted by one trans-prefixed word or another but by issues of class and race, sex or sexuality.

Time to get back to existentialism, essentialism sucked when it was practiced by certain radical feminists and it sucks when practiced by certain people with transsexualism or transgenderism.

You are what you do and what you have done.  You are not who you claim to “identify” as unless your actions are consistent with that claimed identity.  Claiming identity is paramount is the suckiest form of essentialism for it is essentialism that ignores action.

Posted in Existentialism, Politics, Questioning Authority. Comments Off

Forget Anyone, Kate?

Kate Bornstein: Thoughts About Hate Crime Legislation

This was posted on Pam’s House Blend


By Kate Bornstein

 

So now we’ve got a federal law that deems it a hate crime if you go after someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s a big deal. That includes a great many people. Last time I looked, the people who define themselves based on their sexual orientation or included all these folks who — if you fuck with them — you’re facing hate crime charges.

L for Lesbian                               D for Drag Queens                      G for Genderqueer                          G for Gay

D for Drag Kings                         T for Two Spirit                          B for Bisexual                                    D for DragFuck Royalty

K for Kinky                                   T for Transgender                     I for Intersex                                     P for Pornographers

Q for Queer                                  F for Feminists                            P for Pansexual                                 Q for Questioning

F for Furries                                P for Polyamory                        A for Asexual                                      F for Femme  

Q for Queer Heterosexual        A for Adult Entertainers          B for Butch                                          ETC for et cetera

S for Sadomasochists                 M for MSM                                  AI for ad infinitum                            S for Sex Workers

W for WSW                                 S for Swingers AI for queer Artificial Intelligence

Now, if the Hate Crimes Act includes all those people, then hip-hip-hooray for our side. As a friend recently quipped on Twitter, “One giant step for transkind.”

Yes, yes. Just the way it is — even if most people disagree with my list here — the bill is a big step forward in LGBTQ etc freedom. One step at a time, right? I know what that’s about, one step at a time. I’m a good 12-stepper — sometimes, and with some things. So Yay! for this giant step.

Complete article at:

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/14013/kate-bornstein-thoughts-about-hate-crime-legislation

I heard Kate speak some years ago at a UCLA rally for National Coming Out Day.

She defined herself in the negative, saying all these things she was not.

I’ve taken a different path and defined myself by the things I am doing or have done, the positions I have taken and fought for etc.

All those things she listed and couldn’t write the word Transsexual.

Lately it seems a lot of people have problems with that word.  People who had the same sort of sex change operation I had have strange, rare forms of contradictory intersex, when in all likelihood transsexual is a form of intersex.  Or they didn’t have transsexualism they had HBS.  As though they aren’t the same thing.

Perhaps it is the word sex that is the problem.  Or maybe it is because so many “transsexual” sex workers, struggling to keep it together in a violence filled world where the price of what they have to offer has decreased due to so many having to do sex work.

But as far as I am concerned transsexual is a perfectly good word to describe those of us who have sex reassignment surgery and should stand along side of transgender in the discourse and not be subsumed or erased by a fictional umbrella.

One size fits almost no one.

NOW Opposes Health Care Bill That Strips Millions of Women of Abortion Access

Says Bill Obliterates Women’s Fundamental Right to Choose

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

November 8, 2009

The House of Representatives has dealt the worst blow to women’s fundamental right to self-determination in order to buy a few votes for reform of the profit-driven health insurance industry. We must protect the rights we fought for in Roe v. Wade. We cannot and will not support a health care bill that strips millions of women of their existing access to abortion.

Birth control and abortion are integral aspects of women’s health care needs. Health care reform should not be a vehicle to obliterate a woman’s fundamental right to choose.

The Stupak Amendment goes far beyond the abusive Hyde Amendment, which has denied federal funding of abortion since 1976. The Stupak Amendment, if incorporated into the final version of health insurance reform legislation, will:

  • Prevent women receiving tax subsidies from using their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion;
  • Prevent women participating in the public health insurance exchange, administered by private insurance companies, from using 100 percent of their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion;
  • Prevent low-income women from accessing abortion entirely, in many cases.

NOW calls on the Senate to pass a health care bill that respects women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion and calls on President Obama to refuse to sign any health care bill that restricts women’s access to affordable, quality reproductive health care.

Christo-Fascists and Republi-Nazis Rape of Women’s Rights

There is a word for not having the right to control your own reproductive rights including having free access to any form of birth control you wish to employ including abortion.  That word is slavery.
There is a word for the core belief of both Republicans and Christians, the word is misogyny
There is a word for the Democrats.  Cowards.

From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — It was late Friday night and lawmakers were stalling for time. In a committee room, they yammered away, delaying a procedural vote on the historic health care legislation. Down one floor, in her office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi desperately tried to deal with an issue that has bedeviled Democrats for more than a generation — abortion.

After hours of heated talks, the people she was trying to convince — some of her closest allies — burst angrily out of her office.

Her attempts at winning them over had failed, and Ms. Pelosi, the first woman speaker and an ardent defender of abortion rights, had no choice but to do the unthinkable. To save the health care bill she had to give in to abortion opponents in her party and allow them to propose tight restrictions barring any insurance plan that is purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions.

The restrictions were necessary to win support for the overall bill from abortion opponents who threatened to scuttle the health care overhaul.

It is time to tax the churches.  They are nothing but lie peddling hate machines.  There is no god.

I Guess Women Aren’t That Good At Writing After All

As a blogger and writer still working on my first book I receive mail from “She Writes”, a mailing list for women writers.  And I just know many of you think the struggle for women’s equality has been won and that male privilege is a thing of the past but…

From She Writes:
Wow, did I feel good yesterday. 5000 women writers here. A depth and breadth of talent that takes my breath away. We write fiction, we write memoir, we write scifi; we are bestsellers, we are award winners, we are just starting out; we are working hard, we are writing well; we are…not as good at it as men are.

Or at least that seems to be the opinion of Publishers’ Weekly, which published its “Best Books of 2009″ list on November 2nd and could not see its way to including a single book by a woman without destroying its integrity or betraying its unassailable good taste. Apparently books by women just aren’t as good. Sorry, girls! Poor PW, they felt really badly about it. According to the novelist and journalist Louisa Ermelino, the editors at PW bent over backwards to be objective as they chose the Best Books of the year. “We ignored gender and genre and who had the buzz. We gave fair chance to the ‘big’ books of the year, but made them stand on their own two feet. It disturbed us when we were done that our list was all male.”

It “disturbed” you? In what way exactly? Like, did it make you think, “we are insane?” Try to imagine if they had come out with a list of the Best Books of 2009 and it had included ZERO MEN. Try to imagine if Amazon had released its Best Books of 2009 and it had included only TWO men. I know it’s hard. But just try.

And in case you think ALL men got the star treatment from PW, you should also know that only ONE of the men on the list isn’t a white dude. Naturally he is the dude on the cover. (More on that in a post to come.)

I have never felt clearer about why I started She Writes. It is time to start making our own lists. On that note I am issuing our first She Writes call to action. Tell us what YOU believe are the top ten best books of 2009 thus far. Written by men or women, please — fiction or nonfiction. Be as objective as you can, with the awareness that lists of the “best” anything are subjective in the end. We are not trying to generate a list of books only by women. I’m guessing there will be some overlap with the lists Amazon and PW put together. I am also guessing we will somehow, some way, find a book or two by a woman that can stand on its own two feet.

Click here to give us your list of the Top Ten Best Books of 2009.

We will announce our She Writes Top Ten list two weeks from today.

In the meantime, I will be featuring posts from our membership on this subject. Please feel free to share your lists and alert me when you do. Cate Marvin and Erin Belieu, co-founders of the much needed new literary organization WILLA (Women in Letters and Literary Arts), will be discussing their reaction to PW’s list (and Amazon’s) in a conversation we will post on She Writes in the next few days.

A parting thought: my friend and colleague Gloria Feldt, who also happens to be one of the most inspiring and important thought-leaders on women and leadership in the country, likes to cite a pair of statistics that speak volumes: women make 85% of the consumer buying decisions in this country; women are 17% of Congress.

Here’s another one for you: 65% of books sold in the U.S. are purchased by women; women wrote 0% of the Best Books of 2009. Really

Must Read Book Recommendation: When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

On Thursday I picked up Gail Collins book: When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

I am about 80 pages into it and I am constantly going yes I remember.  I was born in 1947 and came of age in 1965 so I entered adulthood at the same time as the anti-war movement, the birth of second wave feminism and the gay and lesbian liberation movements.

From about 1960 onward my parents knew of my transsexualism.  Our lives were like a Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee drama as they came to see that my being a teen queen transkid was not something I was going to grow out of.  It speaks highly of my parents working class liberal values that they did not throw me to the wolves by kicking me out and instead let me finish school.  Even encouraging me along with the yelling.

My mother read Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique as soon as it came out in paperback.  When she finished it she handed it to me and said, “You really think you  want to be a woman.  You had better read this and learn what it really means to be a woman, maybe you will change your mind.”

It didn’t change my mind but it prepared me for the reality sandwich I had to eat when I came out in 1969.  The glow lasted perhaps a few days and then the analysis set in and I was on the path to becoming a full blown feminist as the alternative was unacceptable.

I can start fights among people with either transsexualism or transgenderism simply by mentioning the phrase “male privilege”.  Oh the denial and gnashing of teeth and the wailing claims of never having had male privilege, when simply not being made in to a little princess and being raised to be the subject and not the object is male privilege.

Buy the book.  Read it.  It is a Red Pill that helps you to see reality in a world where mass media fills our heads with bullshit aimed at selling us oppressive gender roles along with the cheap crap from China.

The Next Phase of Healthcare Apartheid

Published on Thursday, November 5, 2009 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/05

by Norman Solomon

In Washington, “healthcare reform” has degenerated into a sick joke.

At this point, only spinners who’ve succumbed to their own vertigo could use the word “robust” to describe the public option in the healthcare bill that the House Democratic leadership has sent to the floor.

“A main argument was that a public plan would save people money,” the New York Times has noted. But the insurance industry — claiming to want a level playing field — has gotten the Obama administration to bulldoze the plan. “After House Democratic leaders unveiled their health care bill [on October 29], the Congressional Budget Office said the public plan would cost more than private plans and only 6 million people would sign up.”

At its best, “the public option” was a weak remedy for the disastrous ailments of the healthcare system in the United States. But whatever virtues the public option may have offered were stripped from the bill en route to the House floor.

What remains is a Rube Goldberg contraption that will launch this country into a new phase of healthcare apartheid.

People who scrape together enough money to buy health insurance will discover that they’re riding in the back of the nation’s healthcare bus. The most “affordable” policies will be the ones with the highest deductibles and the worst coverage.

We’re hearing that large numbers of lower-income Americans will be provided with Medicaid coverage in the next decade. Translation: If funding holds up, they’ll get to hang onto a bottom rung of the healthcare ladder. Many will not be able to get the medical help they need, from primary care providers or specialists.

Not long ago, we were told that the Obama administration was aiming for a public option that could provide coverage to one out of every four Americans. Now the figure is around one out of every fifty.

Not long ago, the idea was that taxpayer-funded subsidies were to be used only for the public option. But now the entire concept has been hijacked by and for the private insurance industry. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it on October 8, private insurance companies “are going to get 50 million new consumers, many of them subsidized by the taxpayers.”

Pelosi was making the argument that the least the insurance industry could do, in return, would be to accept a higher level of taxation. But her comment was a telling acknowledgment that all the “public option” proposals now provide a massive funnel from the U.S. Treasury to the insurance conglomerates. The individual mandate is a monumental giveaway to private insurance firms.

The specter of “healthcare reform” that requires individuals to stretch their personal finances for often-abysmal insurance coverage is the worst of all worlds — government intrusion for corporate benefit without any guarantees of decent health coverage.

In effect, the individual-mandate requirement tells people that obtaining health coverage is ultimately their own responsibility — and the quality of the coverage is beside the point. In essence, when it comes to guaranteeing quality healthcare for all, the gist of the policy is: “Let’s not, and say we did.”

The predictable result is reinforcement of vast — and often deadly — inequities in access to healthcare.

With Washington making such a corporate mess of “healthcare reform,” the best way to get what we need — healthcare for all as a human right — will be to enact single-payer healthcare in one state after another.

But the House Democratic leadership has not been content to serve up a grimly pathetic “healthcare reform” bill. Speaker Pelosi has used her political leverage to quash Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s amendment — approved months ago by the Education and Labor Committee — that would grant waivers so that states could create their own single-payer system. Pelosi removed the Kucinich amendment from the House bill.

The California legislature has twice passed a strong single-payer bill, both times vetoed by the state’s current execrable governor. The official position of the California Democratic Party is unequivocally in favor of single-payer healthcare. And yet Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, did what she could to sabotage the single-payer position of her own party in her own state.

Sickening.

Norman Solomon is a journalist, historian, and progressive activist. His book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death [1]” has been adapted into a documentary film of the same name. His most recent book is “Made Love, Got War. [2]” He is a national co-chair of the Healthcare NOT Warfare [3] campaign. In California, he is co-chair of the Commission on a Green New Deal for the North Bay; www.GreenNewDeal.info [4].

Dennis Kucinich: Why Is It We Have Finite Resources for Health Care but Unlimited Money for War?

Why Is It We Have Finite Resources for Health Care But Unlimited Money for War?
by Dennis Kucinich, OpEd News

Friday 06 November 2009

Washington – Following a statement on the Floor of the House of Representative, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

“Why is it we have finite resources for health care but unlimited money for war?

“The inequities in our economy are piling up: trillions for war, trillions for Wall Street and tens of billions for the insurance companies. Banks and other corporations are sitting on piles of cash of taxpayer’s money while firing workers, cutting pay and denying small businesses money to survive.

“People are losing their homes, their jobs, their health, their investments, their retirement security; yet there is unlimited money for war, Wall Street and insurance companies, but very little money for jobs on Main Street.

“Unlimited money to blow up things in Iraq and Afghanistan, and relatively little money to build things in the US.

“The Administration may soon bring to Congress a request for an additional $50 billion for war. I can tell you that a Democratic version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is no more acceptable than a Republican version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Trillions for war and Wall Street, billions for insurance companies… When we were promised change, we weren’t thinking that we give a dollar and get back two cents.”

Dennis Kucinich is a congressman from Ohio and a 2008 presidential primary candidate. http://kucinich.us/

How Does a Religious Cult Have the Clout to Delay Health Care Vote?

From AlterNet

By Adele Stan, AlterNet
Posted on November 6, 2009, Printed on November 7, 2009

http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/www.alternet.org/143797/

Just when it seemed the stars were aligning for an historic vote tomorrow on health-care reform legislation in the House of Representatives, anti-choice Democrats are balking, saying that the plan would permit the indirect flow of federal dollars to fund abortion.

Led by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., a member of the Capitol Hill religious cult known as The Family, and spurred on by the Catholic bishops, anti-abortion Dems are contesting the fact that some small number of private insurance plans offered via the bill’s insurance exchange scheme may offer coverage for abortion — even therapeutic abortion. Where the federal dollars come in is via the subsidies for which lower-income people would be eligible for buying insurance through the exchange.

Politico‘s Patrick O’Connor reports on the church’s influence at the negotiating table:

Negotiators are working closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to finalize language the church can accept. Vulnerable anti-abortion Democrats don’t want to support any bill that the bishops haven’t signed off on.

Last time I looked, abortion was a legal medical procedure in the United States. The changes the church wants would virtually forbid abortion coverage, even for women carrying fetuses without a chance of surviving outside the womb. The church seeks to codify its contempt for women into U.S. law, dooming a woman already facing a tragic pregnancy to compromise her life and health — mental and physical — apparently for the sin of having had sex.

As the legislation stands, no federal dollars would directly cover an abortion, and the public plan will offer no abortion coverage. But that’s not enough for the men of the cloth.

The question remains, of course, as to whether this is an issue truly of moral conscience, or just a trick for stalling health-care reform. At Michele Bachmann’s disinform-athon yesterday on the Capitol steps, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins alleged, untruthfully, that the bill announced last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi covers abortion, as did several members of Congress. The Family Research Council is a Republican-allied group.

Also creating problems for Pelosi is conservative consternation over the ability for undocumented immigrants to buy private health insurance — using their own money — through the exchange. Already locked out of Medicaid, the government plan for the poor, undocumented workers have few options for getting any kind of health care — and few would be able to afford even the plans offered on the exchange.

Nonetheless, conservaDems apparently feel compelled to maintain a punitive stance toward the people who pick our produce and clean our toilets, in order to assuage the resentment of their constituents. Truth is, it’s really bad economics to completely lock the undocumented out of health-insurance reforms, since they’ll likely wind up in emergency rooms in the expensive, late stages of illness.

Hospital emergency rooms are forbidden to people away for ability to pay — a circumstance that many Republicans would like to change. Their message: if the severe poverty your nation suffers (partly because the U.S. sucks up all the world’s resources) drove you to cross the border at extreme personal risk so you could feed your family, you deserve to die a painful, untreated death. Nice. But until Republicans prevail with their death-camps-for-aliens plan, emergency rooms remain on the hook for the care of very sick undocumented immigrants, whose care we all ultimately pay for in the form of higher health care costs for all.

Meanwhile, mainstream media are speculating that conservative Democrats are getting wobbly on health-care reform because of yesterday’s ugly unemployment numbers (10 percent nationally) and the party’s gubernatorial losses in Virginia and New Jersey.

Neither of these rationales for stepping back from a yes vote makes a whit of sense. Health-care reform makes good economic sense, and it will serve as an economic stimulus as new jobs are created as the building of new systemic health-care infrastructures get under way. Our current health-care system, if you can even call it that, is a job-killer, not a job creator.

As for the east-coast governors’ races, both turned on local concerns — not health-care reform.

Now, can we all stop being stupid?

Lost in all this wrangling is the major coup scored by Pelosi yesterday when AARP, which claims to represent some 40 million Americans over the age of 50, endorsed the House bill, backing the bill’s cost-cutting of Medicare through a crack-down on fraud and abuse.

The vote remains scheduled for tomorrow, but many expect it to be delayed until at least Sunday, perhaps Monday. Tomorrow, President Barack Obama will visit reluctant lawmakers on Capitol Hill, hoping to twist some Democratic arms.

Meanwhile, Republicans continue their disinformation campaign, seeking to convince fearful Americans that the health-care bill will end all private plans, force them to pay for frivolous abortions, cut benefits from Medicare, sink the economy and create a Marxist-fascist-socialist dictatorship.

Nice.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet’s Washington editor.

© 2009 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/www.alternet.org/143797/
Posted in Health Care, Religion, Social Justice. Comments Off

Friday Night Fun and Culture

The Waitresses singing their big hit “I Know What Boys Like”

Private Health Insurance, it’s the Worst Product in American History

A Modest Proposal: The Future Role of Private Health Insurance

Over the past few days several articles have appeared that have simply given me pause to ponder moments.
One WTF moment was caused the following Headline from Raw Story

Democrats’ healthcare bill would pay for ‘prayer’ treatment

http://rawstory.com/2009/11/democrats-healthcare-bill-pay-prayer-treatment/
What the fuck?
Yet on Tuesday 11/03/09
By John Byrne reported

What do Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have in common?

A soft spot for Christian Scientists.

The three senators have quietly inserted a provision into the Democrats’ healthcare overhaul that would allow the Christian Science church to receive remuneration from the federal government for prayer treatments as medical expenses.

Why are liberal Democrats teaming up with a conservative senator for a provision that would normally be the bane of the Senate’s liberal elite? Because the headquarters of the Christian Science church is in Boston.

“The measure would put Christian Science prayer treatments — which substitute for or supplement medical treatments — on the same footing as clinical medicine,” the Los Angeles Times’ Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger, who found the measure, write. “While not mentioning the church by name, it would prohibit discrimination against ‘religious and spiritual healthcare.'”

See the full story at the above link.

The news this week has been full of these What the Fuck stories of government kowtowing to the Christo-Fascists and helping them to install the Christer version of Sharia.

The same day the Washington Post ran the following:

Democrats’ concerns over abortion may imperil health bill

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/02/AR2009110203232.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Bloc could withhold support over fears of a governmental role

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

While House leaders are moving toward a vote on health-care legislation by the end of the week, enough Democrats are threatening to oppose the measure over the issue of abortion to create a question about its passage.

House leaders were still negotiating Monday with the bloc of Democrats concerned about abortion provisions in the legislation, saying that they could lead to public funding of the procedure. After an evening meeting of top House Democrats, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) said, “We are making progress,” but added that they had not reached an agreement.

The outcome of those talks could be crucial in deciding the fate of the health-care bill. Democrats need the vast majority of their caucus to back the bill, since nearly all congressional Republicans have said they will oppose the legislation.

“I will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until a clean vote against public funding for abortion is allowed,” Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Monday in a statement. He said last week that 40 Democrats could vote with him to oppose the legislation — enough to derail the bill.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, cast Stupak as “attempting to ban abortion coverage in the private insurance market.”

We already have Health insurance companies that will pay for dead dick pills for men whose gluttonous consumption of greasy fast food and obesity has led them to take medications that all have impotence as a side effect.  These same “Health Insurance” companies routinely refuse to fund not only abortion but birth control for women.

Any bets on their willingness to fund sex reassignment surgery?

I have an answer on that one courtesy of Brenda Lana Smith’s news mailing list.

US – Social conservatives are working to ensure that federal funding for sex change operations will be banned in the health reform bill.…

[2009-11-04 Politico]

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29164.html

Conservatives shop sex ops ban to GOP

By JONATHAN ALLEN

11/04/09 9:00 PM EST

The federal government would be banned from funding sex change operations and other services for transgender individuals if social conservative activists get their way.

There’s no sponsor yet for an amendment to the health care overhaul – and it may remain in the dustbin of unrealized wedge issues – but culture warriors are shopping the proposal to Republican senators.

The language is written: “None of the funds authorized or appropriated under this act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be used to cover any part or portion of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of” any sex or gender reassignment procedure,  surgery related to such a sex change, hormone therapy for a sex change or pre- and post-operation treatments for a sex change.

A senior aide to a Republican senator said that a public insurance plan could easily end up covering sex-change procedures if that’s not specifically banned in the bill.

Follow the link above for the full article.
The misogynistic, homophobic neo-Nazi bigots of the Republican Party and their lynch mobs of bigoted thugs want the enforcement of Christo-fascist Sharia through the government in a manner that is the complete opposite of the intent of the framers of our Constitution.

Remember Jefferson posited a wall of separation between Church and State.  The Nazi like Republicans want the state to not only endorse their superstition based bigotry but to institute Christian Sharia in the process.

They embrace Confederate family values to the point where they ignore the 14th amendment to the Constitution.

I have come to see their “conservative” movement as growing out of the same ideological well spring as the KKK, the John Birch Society and Father Charles Edward Coughlin.  Nazis or Nazi sympathizers one and all.

They hated Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and later the “Fair Deal”, the War on Poverty even though it helped thousands rise above a life of poverty and despair.  They have warred against unions to the point where unions no longer protect the vast majority of workers who have seen their lives reduced to virtual slavery, subjected to the indignity of involuntary searches in the form of drug tests.

Employer provided health insurance is a luxury enjoyed by the rapidly dwindling middle class while many of us are on the stay healthy or die program beloved by both the rich elite scum who run the health insurance corporations and the Republicans alike.

But you can always trust the Nazi like impulses of the Republicans to attack women’s right to control their own bodies and now to attack the new sacrificial lambs, transsexual and transgender people.

And you can always trust the cowardly Democrats to cave to this as they cower in fear of being called socialists or communists.

So we see Democrats offering to include “Prayer Care”

I promised a modest proposal. Here it is.

Get the private health insurance companies out of the business by instituting National Health Insurance funded by taxes paid by everyone.  So what if the rightwing Christian Republicans object that they do not to fund this plan.  There have been a whole lot of imperialistic wars and worthless war toys I would have rather not helped pay for but I did because that is the price of citizenship.

Let the Republicans and Christians who hate National Health insurance opt out and buy private insurance that we could call, “Christian Care”.  Christian Care could cover make your dick hard pills and treatment with the money saved from not providing health and reproductive care for women.  They would of course cover all costs of quiver full artificially induced multiple births with the money they save from treating older women.  Since the only function many of these ultra right wing Christians see women as having is the pleasing of men and bearing of children they could save a bundle of money by cutting off care for women past the age of menopause unless their husbands buy supplemental “Christian Care” packages.

Since everything is in “god’s hands” in the first and last place (alpha and omega babble) Christian Care could use prayer teams instead of expensive surgery and trained specialists.

There was a reason why the right wingers of the 19th century formed the Know Nothing Party.

Nasty Girl

It appears the Christo-Fascists have managed to deprive their fellow citizens of their Constitutional right to equality once again.

The equal rights of citizens of a scapegoated minority group should never,  ever be put to the vote the way they were last year in California or this year in Maine.

About 15 or 20 years ago I saw a German film titled “Nasty Girl”.  It was about a young woman who set out to write a high school paper that would show how the people of her town were different from the rest of the Jew murdering Nazi scum.  Because they were nice people, kind, friendly and god fearing.

They had once again clothed themselves in denial and righteousness.  They had hidden their history, forgotten their recent past.

She was a nice girl when she started, everybody loved her and wanted to help her in her wonderful project that show how they were innocent of genocide.

Her high school paper was praised and won her a scholarship.

But then the cracks started to appear and she obsessively dug deeper and found her wonderful neighbors one and all had participated, had been Nazis who actively or tacitly participated in the shipping of their fellow citizens of the Jewish faith to death camps where they were murdered in a horrific act of genocide against which all other genocides are measured.

She was called a, Nasty Girl and became an object of hatred for telling the truth and exposing the core Nazism of her neighbors.

The genocide of the Jewish people of Europe started years before the active murder commenced.  It started in laws that officially made the bigotry against Jews the law.  It made them second class citizens in the eyes of the law.

Christians, particularly Catholics called the Jews “Christ Killers”.  When in point of fact, if historical fact and not mythology is at play in the Christ story,  it was the Italians then called Romans who arrested Jesus, put him before the mob, then murdered him.  Then like all good people blamed someone else.

Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine as well as Ethan Allen and others who founded this nation were Free Thinkers, basically  atheists and agnostics who saw religion as being used as a tool of oppression by popes and kings alike.  This is why Jefferson wrote of the need for a wall of separation between religion and state.

The world has seen way too much faith based genocide and horror.

In the 20th century Upton Sinclair, author and muckraking journalist wrote a book called The Profits of Religion, exposing the greed and hypocrisy that are the foundations of religion.

It has been said that if fascism comes to America (it already has) it would be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.  I might add it would start calling our nation the “Homeland”, institute a department of “Homeland Security”, engage in secret arrests and torture etc.

LBJ said when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “I fear we have just lost the south to the Republican Party for a generation.”

Nina Simone sang, “Mississippi Goddamn” and the good people decried the racism of Mississippi and the south with its Jim Crow Laws yet America was then and is now an Apartheid nation with ghettos and barrios set aside for black and brown people, especially of the poverty class.

Yet as bad as things are the Civil Rights Act of 1964 put on record the equality of African Americans and abolished the Jim Crow Laws.

The right wing shift of America has not been the triumph of conservative free market thinking. It has been the triumph of racism and bigotry.  Fascism wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross they have become smart enough to not publicly burn.

So now we live in a nation where corporations and big religion (as though religion is not just another money making enterprise) and Nazi values rule the nation.

A nation where the working class is reduced to the status of wage slave working to pay the loan shark credit card companies that made life possible and comfortable in a nation of stagnate wages and a falling standard of living.

A nation of people afraid of everything that would make their lives better from National Health insurance to unions and reindustrialization along with requiring the ultra rich elites to pay for the damages they have done to this nation’s economy and people.

I have watched the dumbing down of the people of this country with action movies guaranteed to generate fear and the demands for cops who step outside the law to protect us.  The creation of a world view so frightening that it sometime seems as though ever forth person has a concealed carry permit and is packing a gun.

Yet the creation of fear is not new. The same Christo-Fascists who are now scapegoating LGBT/T people in places like Maine came here as the Puritans bring with them the same harsh superstitious religion that made them anathema in their home land.  The drove Roger Williams from Massachusetts and killed a number of people in Salem because they thought they were witches.

In more modern times we had the first talk radio demagogue, Father Charles Edward Coughlin, an ultra right wing racist and Nazi sympathizer, who ranted about FDR being a communist.  In the process he became the role model for every right wing bigoted talk show host since then.  He spawned Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, Dobbs and their ugly harpy female counter parts Ingraham, Coulter and Malkin and the rest of the fear mongering peddlers of hatred and Nazism that has come to plague this nation.

I am a nasty girl.  I ask who the fuck is Godwin, some sort of Nazi symp or something?  Why should I not call these bigots and Nazis for the hate peddling whores that they are?

These pieces of right wing human garbage have called me a commie queer for  most of my life.  I am an atheist, not a Christian.  I do not turn the other cheek I fight back and I call upon others to stop mincing words.  Stop playing nice to the bigots.  Call them on being the un-American bigots they are.  Tell the world that they represent the Confederacy not America.

Speak up and denounce them as not representing American values but rather ugly fascist values and of being the same sort of peddlers of superstitious religious garbage as those Imans who have made the Middle East a hell hole.

“Restless Vagina Syndrome”: Big Pharma’s Newest Fake Disease

Reposted From In These Times

With the permission of the author, Terry J. Allen

tallen@igc.org

http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/5016/restless_vagina_syndrome/

By Terry J. Allen, In These Times

It’s not your fault, ladies (and certainly not your partner’s), that you don’t orgasm every time you have intercourse, or that you lack the libido of a 17-year-old boy. You have a disease: female sexual dysfunction (FSD), and the pharmaceutical industry wants to help.

You are among the “43 percent of American women [who] experience some degree of impaired sexual function,” according to a Journal of the American Medical Association article. The FDA’s evolving definition of FSD includes decreased desire or arousal, sexual pain and orgasm difficulties — but only if the woman feels “personal distress” about it.

So, convincing women to feel distress is a key component of the drug company strategy to market a multi-billion-dollar pill that will cure billions of women of what may not ail them.

By promoting the belief that “normal” women have explosive sex all the time, BigPharma helped launch the disease. However, the FDA has yet to approve a treatment for women who fall short. Until then, they could try the Orgasmatron: a dial-a-delight spinal implant that rarely works — and risks infection and paralysis. Or, for $60/month, pop LexaFem pills — containing (how-could-it-not-work) “horny goat weed extract” in order to “feel like a real woman today.” Its website promises, “You won’t ever feel unhappy again with LexaFem in your arsenal.”

But the big swinging dicks of global FSD marketing (and off-label marketing) are Pfizer — whose stop-gap strategy is selling women Viagra based on the fact that it works for men, and Procter & Gamble (P&G), which, using the same logic, has put its money on testosterone.

Viagra’s failure in trial after trial to work on women has not stopped doctors from writing 1.4 million off-label prescriptions. FSD is “a classic example of starting with some preconceived, and non-evidence based diagnostic categorization for women’s sexual dysfunctions, based on the male model,” said John Bancroft, director of the Kinsey Institute, in an interview with BMJ (British Medical Journal).

No drug follows the male model more literally than testosterone. Despite FDA refusal to approve P&G’s testosterone patch Intrinsa, U.S. doctors wrote 2 million off-label testosterone prescriptions in 2007. Like Pfizer’s little blue pill, the Intrinsa patch doesn’t really work for women. No wonder: Researchers don’t even know what constitutes a “normal” female testosterone level, and women with low levels of the hormone are as likely as those with high levels to be happy with their sex lives. And as filmmaker Liz Canner shows in her excellent new documentary Orgasm, Inc., (www.orgasminc.org), testosterone is usually teamed with estrogen, which increases risks for stroke, cancers and dementia.

The companies and clinics that narrow the range of sexual normality to porn industry standards suffer their own disease. Symptoms include: a compulsion to concoct illnesses and then develop drugs to treat them, and vice versa. Either way, the syndrome is typically accompanied by a rash of conflicts of interest.

A Pfizer survey in Malaysia found that Malay women are even more diseased than their American counterparts, with “69.6 percent experiencing some form of FSD,” according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which also published an industry-supported supplement on FSD. Journal editor and urologist Irwin Goldstein denies a conflict of interest. “Science is science,” he says. “It comes down to the bottom line. What the data shows, the data shows.” Actually, no. Drug company-funded studies are more likely than independent studies to find the new drug superior to the old. Perhaps the bottom line Dr. Goldstein refers to is his income as a paid consultant for drug companies, including P&G and Pfizer.

Goldstein established an FSD clinic with Dr. Jennifer Berman, who now heads a Beverly Hills clinic and appears on Oprah. As one of the health professionals on a 1998 panel that received financial sponsorship from eight pharmaceutical companies, she helped define female sexual dysfunction. Some 22 drug companies, including Pfizer, had financial ties to 18 of the 19 authors of that panel’s report, the BMJ revealed.

“Maybe the best approach is not ineffective, over-hyped drugs with nasty side effects, but an end to disease mongering and a strong dose of comprehensive sex education,” says filmmaker Canner. Her film hits female erogenous zones that pharmaceutical fixes can’t find: your brain  and your funny bone.

Terry J. Allen is a senior editor of In These Times. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Nation, New Scientist and other publications.

First seen on Alternet:

Posted on November 3, 2009, Printed on November 3, 2009

http://www.alternet.org/sex/143682/%22restless_vagina_syndrome%22%3A_big_pharma%27s_newest_fake_disease

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