Some of the Things We (LGBT/TQ People) are Supposed to want Seem Really Reactionary

As a working class, left wing hippie lesbian who was born with transsexualism I sometimes feel like many of the things I am (according to “the community”) supposed to be fighting for are kind of irrelevant to me and people like me.

It is as though a group of privileged people whose sole axis of oppression is based on their being saddled with one of the classifications found in the queer alphabet soup.  Were it not for having one of those lavender letters attached to them they would be indistinguishable from straights.

Yes LGBT/TQ people should be able to serve in the military. But I’m opposed to the imperialistic wars of conquest and exploitation that the US military regularly engages in, therefore any “rah-rah” on my part is sort of apathetic. I find myself hoping that perhaps an LGBT/TQ presence in the military will put the brakes on gratuitous violence towards the LGBT/TQ people in the countries we are invading.

What would Harry Hay think about this one?

It sort of feels like fighting  over scraps on the garbage pile of a rapidly declining Empire.

That’s one of the big problems with the Trans-inclusive ENDA.  It will help the upper classes of the LGBT/TQ communities, but they were often already protected by inclusive corporate non-discrimination policies. So many TS/TG people are unemployable for factors other than their being TS/TG. Age, appearance, lack of training and now for not having a job to look for employment from.

There is a name for the jobs available to those below the professional class, McJobs. They require long hours standing on concrete floors taking arbitrary and often illogical orders from above while getting abused by customers.  These jobs often involve working random days making it hard to have a second job which one often needs since one of these McJobs is rarely full time and even more rarely pays a living wage.

Notice I didn’t mention benefits?  That because these jobs don’t have them.  No health care, no paid sick leave, no paid holidays, and no paid vacation.  But you will have to submit to drug testing and bring a note from the doctor if you happen to call in sick because you feel like crap and can’t work that day.

There are people in these jobs with college degrees.  People who have worked in management and professional careers.  Baristas with advanced degrees.

Yeah a McJob is safer and depending on your current point of view less degrading than sex work.

But that isn’t saying much.

Indeed it is just wanting to be part of something that structurally sucks.

Pity considering all the energy we are putting into being in the same sucky shit job as straights.

I remember a time in the past when the government actually helped workers get training that would give them a decent job.

But those jobs have GATT/NAFTA/CAFTA Free Market, out sourced to other countries where workers are paid almost nothing.

I smiled when I saw LGBT/TQ anarchists among the Black Blocs in Toronto this last summer.

Because it showed a unity of students and working people fighting for a decent piece of the pie instead of the crumbs that fall to the floor from rich folks plates.

Issues like access to a living income and full health coverage for all seem like a bigger and more important goal than insuring the job safety of a few.

While I supported those fighting to end DADT, now that the battle has been won I still think joining the military to go murder people to promote the interests of the corporations is pretty fucked up.

The US has a history of supporting right wing genocide just as long as the right wing dictators provide access to their resources and their people as slave labor for our corporations to use.  at the same time we regularly overthrow the elected left wing leaders of nations who are less friendly towards being raped by our corporations. (See the history of Indonesia for the former and Chile for the later. Or Venezuela under Chavez)

And marriage equality seems like a good idea until you look at Bridezilla and all the oppressive expensive crap that the seems standard fare of the wedding industry.

Me I just want to go sign a piece of paper, a contract really without any sort of magic rite performed over my signing it.

Hell I’d be more inclined to push and work hard for the recognition of equal rights for unmarried couples.  Like if you live together more than a year you are married.  Or if you publicly say you are a couple then you are a couple.

Why does every freaking aspect of our lives have to be an opportunity for some damned company to enhance its cash flow by marketing us very expensive goods and services?

I personally would rather contribute the money to save the wolves than buy a  Vera Wang wedding dress.

I guess I’m not a very good member of any of the LGBT/TQ communities.  I’m not all that big on lesbian bars, I don’t play soft ball and most things trans tend to bore me to tears.

Tina and I have music we like from a wide variety of genres.  Movies we like and a love of art museums.

I tend think I’m a lot more like a left wing hippie, who has a same sex partner and had an operation a long time ago, than part of some sort of community.  A community that often times feels more like an artificial marketing demographic than a real community.

Identity politics seems to be a way of separating people from others, who often share the same problems.  Being a person with a McJob, that doesn’t pay a living wage or provide  health insurance can be a greater source of common ground than sharing one of those initials of the queer alphabet.  Especially if the other person is tenured professor.

But the way LGBT/TQ Inc is structured we are supposed to share greater common cause with the Yuppie LGBT/TQ person than our fellow McJobs workers.

Don’t get me started about Log Cabin Republi-Nazi Scum, or the LGBT/TQ people who vote Republican and then parrot the line about being “fiscal conservatives against big government”.

US Changes How It Measures Long-Term Unemployment

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/28-4

by Rick Hampson

Published on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 by USA Today

So many Americans have been jobless for so long that the government is changing how it records long-term unemployment.

Citing what it calls “an unprecedented rise” in long-term unemployment, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), beginning Saturday, will raise from two years to five years the upper limit on how long someone can be listed as having been jobless.

The move could help economists better measure the severity of the nation’s prolonged economic downturn.

The change is a sign that bureau officials “are afraid that a cap of two years may be ‘understating the true average duration’ — but they won’t know by how much until they raise the upper limit,” says Linda Barrington, an economist who directs the Institute for Compensation Studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Likening recessionary unemployment spikes in recent decades to a storm at sea, she says, “The waves are getting higher, and we want to understand the intricacies of how they’re made up.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/28-4

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The Working Poor

From The Economic Collapse: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-working-poor

As the middle class in America continues to be slowly wiped out, the number of working poor continues to increase. Today, nearly one out of every three families in the United States is considered to be “low income”. Millions of American families are finding that they can barely make it from month to month even with both parents working as hard as they possibly can. Blue collar American workers from coast to coast are having their wages decreased at a time when it seems like the cost of virtually every monthly bill is going up. Unfortunately, there is every indication that things are only going to get worse and that average American families are going to be financially squeezed even more in the months and years to come.

The Working Poor Families Project has just released their policy brief for the winter of 2010-11. What they have discovered is that the number of working poor in the United States is higher than they have ever seen it before and it continues to increase at a staggering pace. The following are some of the key findings for 2009 that were pulled right out of their report….

Continue reading at:  http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-working-poor

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Home Prices Falling Across the Country

From Fire Dog Lake: http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/12/28/home-prices-falling-across-the-country/

By: David Dayen

Tuesday December 28, 2010

The new Case-Shiller data of home prices for October show that prices are dropping nationwide more than expected. Continuing problems with foreclosure fraud and the end of programs like the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit which propped up the markets can be seen as the culprits.

Data through October 2010, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show a deceleration in the annual growth rates in 18 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites in October compared to what was reported for September 2010. The 10-City Composite was up only 0.2% and the 20-City Composite fell 0.8% from their levels in October 2009. Home prices decreased in all 20 MSAs and both Composites in October from their September levels. In October, only the 10-City Composite and four MSAs – Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC – showed year-over-year gains. While the composite housing prices are still above their spring 2009 lows, six markets – Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Portland (OR), Seattle and Tampa – hit their lowest levels since home prices started to fall in 2006 and 2007, meaning that average home prices in those markets have fallen beyond the recent lows seen in most other markets in the spring of 2009.

Different areas which experienced different housing bubbles have different rates of change, but the trend is downward basically everywhere. And they’re falling in some leading indicator areas to the lowest depths of the entire housing crisis.

I don’t know how you have an economic recovery with home prices falling. Many believe they need to fall, but I’d argue they need to stabilize, through modification programs with principal reduction to stop the tide of foreclosures which has deteriorated prices and sent more homeowners underwater. The only way to break the vicious cycle of foreclosures-lower home prices-more underwater borrowers-foreclosures is through stabilization. And the fraudulent securitizations provide an opportunity in that arena.

Continue reading at:  http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/12/28/home-prices-falling-across-the-country/

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The Census Revealed America’s Fastest Growing Class: The Working Poor

From The Business Insider:  http://www.businessinsider.com/the-working-poor-2010-12?sailthru_m=h2ar

Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse | Dec. 27, 2010, 8:15 AM

As the middle class in America continues to be slowly wiped out, the number of working poor continues to increase. Today, nearly one out of every three families in the United States is considered to be “low income“.Millions of American families are finding that they can barely make it from month to month even with both parents working as hard as they possibly can. Blue collar American workers from coast to coast are having their wages decreased at a time when it seems like the cost of virtually every monthly bill is going up.

Unfortunately, there is every indication that things are only going to get worse and that average American families are going to be financially squeezed even more in the months and years to come.

The Working Poor Families Project has just released their policy brief for the winter of 2010-11. What they have discovered is that the number of working poor in the United States is higher than they have ever seen it before and it continues to increase at a staggering pace. The following are some of the key findings for 2009 that were pulled right out of their report….

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-working-poor-2010-12?sailthru_m=h2ar#ixzz19RU37PCb

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Number Of Uninsured Americans Soars To Over 50 Million

Yeah Obama’s wussy Health Care reform really worked.  Force people to buy expensive health insurance from inefficient private Health Care Insurers with money they don’t have is really working at increasing the number of uninsured.

Government is not a business and shouldn’t run like a business.  It is a legal fiction that corporations are people.  We need a government that represents the people of this nation and not the corporations.

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/27/uninsured-americans-50-million_n_801695.html

Amy Lee

12/28/2010

Less than a year ago, Francis Campos-Dunn was still working at a county hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area, helping patients navigate the often-maddening bureaucracy required to draw on their health insurance. These days, she has a new set of problems to navigate: how to manage her own care without any insurance of her own, having slipped into an unfortunate but fast-growing slice of the population–Americans who have lost their jobs and now lack health coverage.

Back when she was still working, Campos-Dunn, 42, earned $4,000 a month, enough to make her co-payments for regular medical care. These days, she depends on $300 a month contributions from her 16-year-old son–money he earns at a part-time job–just to pay to the rent. When a recent seizure left her with two broken teeth, she skipped the required treatment and opted to have the teeth pulled instead, because she lacked the funds–a choice that would have previously seemed unthinkable.

As the Great Recession has sown unemployment and downgraded work even for those people who have held on to their jobs, the number of Americans lacking healthcare has swelled beyond 50 million, according to a sobering new report from the Kaiser Foundation.

Among the report’s most troubling findings: The number of Americans without any health care coverage grew by more than four million in 2009. That left almost one-fifth of non-elderly people uninsured. Among those between 19 and 29 years old, nearly one-third lacked coverage.

The study underscores the degree to which the recession has accelerated the loss of basic elements once viewed as inextricable pieces of a middle class life. The number of Americans lacking medical coverage now exceeds the population of Spain.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/27/uninsured-americans-50-million_n_801695.html

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian Tycoon, Found Guilty

It appears the Russians have the courage to do something the rest of the developed world does not and that is find the richest man in their country guilty of fraud.

The more I learn of Hillary Clinton and her ties to dubious shadowy Christo-Nazi forces like the Family, which in turn has ties to all sorts of nefarious characters around the globe the less likely I become to ever vote for her for anything.

I despair for my country and the people of my country. Denis Diderot was right. The religous and the wealthy are a curs upon humanity.

So Hillary has her panties in a knot over the Russians convicting Khodorkovsky.  Could it be she’s afraid the idea might spread and we might just free the drug prisoners and replace them with the real criminals presently heading corporations?

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/27/mikhail-khodorkovsky-guilty_n_801447.html?ir=World

LYNN BERRY and NATALIYA VASILYEVA | 12/27/10 08:07 PM

MOSCOW — To Russian prosecutors, imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is guilty of more crimes: They say he stole nearly $30 billion in oil from his own company and laundered the proceeds. To others, he is a dissident who stood up to the powerful Vladimir Putin.

Whatever he is, Khodorkovsky, once the country’s richest man, could be spending more time in jail. And many here point to one man: Putin.

Khodorkovsky’s conviction on Monday of stealing from his company, Yukos, demonstrated that little has changed under Putin’s successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, despite his promises to strengthen the rule of law and make courts an independent branch of government.

<snip>

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a chorus of political figures in the United States and Europe in condemning the verdict.

It “raises serious questions about selective prosecution and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations,” she said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/27/mikhail-khodorkovsky-guilty_n_801447.html?ir=World

BTW notice the language used: “They say he stole nearly $30 billion in oil from his own company and laundered the proceeds.”

Try this instead: “He was convicted of stealing nearly $30 billion in oil from his own company and laundering the proceeds.”

Isn’t it nice how there are two sets of language governing how we speak of crimes, one for those committed by the poor and one for those committed by the rich?  There is never much doubt about the guilt of crimes committed by the poor while even a guilty verdict regarding crimes by the rich is treated as a foolish accusation.

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