New Office Dress Code: “Mini-Skirt Monday” to be Followed by “Tube-Top Tuesday”?

Misogyny in action.

From the National Women’s Law Center: http://www.nwlc.org/our-blog/new-office-dress-code-%E2%80%9Cmini-skirt-monday%E2%80%9D-be-followed-%E2%80%9Ctube-top-tuesday%E2%80%9D

August 9, 2011

No, this isn’t an upcoming plotline in Mad Men, or any other piece of historical fiction in which overt sexual harassment appears in a neat package of dated pastimes including office-hours drinking and smoking in public spaces.

Unfortunately, it’s closer to reality TV. In fact, the suggestion of this sexually explicit daily dress code is one of many allegations made this year by a female former office manager in Pleasant Grove, Utah, who says her employer repeatedly sexually harassed her and threatened her job if she reported him.

The rest of the suggested weekly dress code included “Wet T-Shirt Wednesday,” “No bra Thursday” and “Bikini top Friday.” In other alleged incidents, the employer offered to “give her a mammogram for free,” asked her whether she shaved her pubic area, and repeatedly discussed her breast size in front of other employees.

After three and half years of such abuse, the female employee finally reported the harassment, after which she was immediately fired.

Seriously? You might be wondering how this employer got away with such outrageous conduct, or why the employee waited so long to say anything. It’s simple: as a single mother of three, she couldn’t afford to lose her job and feed her children, a fact that she says her employer knew and used against her. Unfortunately, this is not a unique pattern.

For anyone who has come to think of sexual harassment as a historical phenomenon with little relevance to the modern workplace, this case should highlight the continuing and devastating effects of sexual harassment for working women. We may have made progress since the days depicted in Mad Men, but the issue of sexual harassment is not wrapping up in time for a season finale.

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Why I am Not Particularly Concerned about F to Ms

I’m not their mommy.

That should be so obvious as to not need stating but I feel I must as Christan Williams is using them to attack me.

I actually know a bunch of brothers in both 3D and on line.

They can take care of themselves and speak for themselves.  If anyone doubts this they should go buy Max Wolf Valerio’s book or Jamison Green’s book, to name but two.  Also before you bore me with protestations about F to M Surgery you should check out Loren Cameron’s book and photography.

It shouldn’t surprise people that they have the same sorts of fights in their community regarding being colonized by the genderqueers and transgender identified people dominating the discourse that we have on our side of the fence that is on the T to F side.

The following posts are a result of conversations with Max:

Max Wolf Valerio on “Gender-Queer”
One Size Does Not Fit All: Max Wolf Valerio: a Story of Interest

Over the last 15 years or so that I have been on line I have noticed a rather repulsive tendency on the part of members of both Transgender Inc and the TG Borg to glom onto people and exploit them for all they are worth, sometimes in a manner that seems ghoulishly repulsive.  The trotting out of victims is one of theose.

Viviane Namaste wrote about this in one of her books, how TGDOR on at least one occasion “remembered” someone who was deep stealth, not murdered because of her history and who would have been offended by being included.

Mostly though I have been disgusted by the never gonna let a knife within ten feet of their dick people using T to M people and the costs of their SRS/difficulties as justification for not requiring T to F SRS.

That comes of as seriously exploitive.

Using an other person or another class of people’s situation to rationalize your own when the truth is that many transgender people are just that transgender people who really do not want SRS.

Then I go on-line and do some typing in Google.  And up pop sex sites and pictures of transvestites, both straight and gay, some fetishistic and some just sadly surreal.

I’m supposed to pretend that there isn’t a whole lot of on-line game playing.

Or that I don’t really care what happens to some of these poor souls if they are stuck using the men’s room, I just don’t want them in the women’s room.

Mostly though I am tired of the chimera of public realations and baffling word games, the using of people that is the stock and trade of the Transgender Inc and the TG Borg.

Many of the brothers are brilliant and articulate, with degrees from institutions than trigger my class envy.

They don’t need me to speak for them.

The assumption that they do, on the part of M to F TS/TG folks shows residual traces of male privilege and paternalism.  The presumption that they need you to speak for them is insulting in the same manner that so many men presume they need to speak for women or that white people need to speak for minorities.

People have their own voices and they have the power to use them.

Shock Doctrine: How Conservatives and Corporate Elites Are Stoking Economic Hysteria to Force Catastrophic Cuts

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/151950/shock_doctrine%3A_how_conservatives_and_corporate_elites_are_stoking_economic_hysteria_to_force_catastrophic_cuts/

Conservative and corporate elites are stoking the turmoil, and using fear to panic a public into accepting harsh measures that would be otherwise unacceptable.

By Robert L. Borosage
August 8, 2011

Global economic turmoil is getting worse. Europe’s financial crisis now imperils Spain and Italy. The folly of premature austerity savages economies in Great Britain, Europe and, increasingly, the United States. China and the emerging economies are slowing down. This economy seems stalled at best. People are sensibly scared, worried about their jobs, their homes, their lost savings, their prospects.

Conservative and corporate elites are stoking the turmoil, and using fear to panic a public into accepting harsh measures that would be otherwise unacceptable. The stock market tanks after the debt ceiling debacle. Standard & Poor’s, the discredited and corrupted rating agency, rushes to downgrade U.S. debt, with such haste it doesn’t even get its math right. China’s news service announces the U.S. must roll back its bloated “welfare state” and its bloated military. The talk shows are inundated with pundits expounding the urgent need for the U.S. to get its deficits under control to regain its credit status.

One theme emerges; the Gang of 12 – the Super Committee created in the debt ceiling deal – is portrayed as our last hope. It is charged with identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years by some combination of cuts from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and increased tax revenues. Only if it acts responsibly, we’re told, and the Congress passes its measures under expedited procedures with no amendments, limited debate, and no filibuster, do we have a chance.

Pressure builds on the congressional leaders to pick responsible legislators to the committee, like the previous Gang of Six in the Senate, who will combine cuts in Social Security and Medicare with increased revenues. Republican leaders pledge to appoint members who will oppose any increase in taxes on the rich or the great corporations. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – the core promises we make to the elderly, the disabled, the dying – in our society are at risk. In an era of Gilded Age extremes of inequality, the largest and most effective anti-poverty programs are targeted for deep cuts.

Ignore the hysteria. Fight back against the shock doctrine. All of this is utterly wrong-headed. America doesn’t have a serious debt crisis. We have a jobs crisis. We’re digging out of a severe financial collapse and need to build a new foundation for the economy, for we can’t go back to the old economy that was built on debt and bubbles.

In the long term, the scary deficit projections are almost completely due to our broken health care system. Make reforms that move us closer to the norm of industrial countries in health care costs and we have no long-term debt problem. That requires taking on drug companies, private insurance companies, hospital complexes, the inane way we let powerful interests rig the rules for their profit. We’ve got to get the costs under control, not push the rising costs onto the most vulnerable.

In the short term, we need a strategy for reviving the economy so that it works for working people. That requires a serious strategy for making things in America again, combined with a commitment to balance our trade, confronting the mercantilist nations like China that trample global trading rules. It requires incentives and investments to capture a lead role in the green industrial revolution, moving to clean energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil while addressing catastrophic climate change. It requires investment in strengthening the sinews of growth – investments in education and training, in research and development, in innovation, as well as building a modern infrastructure for the next century, updating the decrepit systems now crumbling around us. With interest rates near zero, despite the hyped rating agency fandango, there has never been a better time to borrow long term to build now.

Fight Back!

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/151950/shock_doctrine%3A_how_conservatives_and_corporate_elites_are_stoking_economic_hysteria_to_force_catastrophic_cuts/

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For-Profit College Group Sued as U.S. Lays Out Wide Fraud

So much for privatization and the invisible hand of the market.  Yet another example of the fail Reagan Republican Policies and the failure of Cancer Stage Capitalism.

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/education/09forprofit.html?_r=2&wpisrc=nl_wonk

By
Published: August 8, 2011

The Department of Justice and four states on Monday filed a multibillion-dollar fraud suit against the Education Management Corporation, the nation’s second-largest for-profit college company, charging that it was not eligible for the $11 billion in state and federal financial aid it had received from July 2003 through June 2011.

While the civil lawsuit is one of many raising similar charges against the expanding for-profit college industry, the case is the first in which the government intervened to back whistle-blowers’ claims that a company consistently violated federal law by paying recruiters based on how many students it enrolled. The suit said that each year, Education Management falsely certified that it was complying with the law, making it eligible to receive student financial aid.

“The depth and breadth of the fraud laid out in the complaint are astonishing,” said Harry Litman, a lawyer in Pittsburgh and former federal prosecutor who is one of those representing the two whistle-blowers whose 2007 complaints spurred the suit. “It spans the entire company — from the ground level in over 100 separate institutions up to the most senior management — and accounts for nearly all the revenues the company has realized since 2003.”

Education Management, which is based in Pittsburgh and is 41 percent owned by Goldman Sachs, enrolls about 150,000 students in 105 schools operating under four names: Art Institute, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/education/09forprofit.html?_r=2&wpisrc=nl_wonk

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London and Other British Cities Burn as Rioting Enters a Third Night

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/08/context-london-riots

There is a context to London’s riots that can’t be ignored

Those condemning the events in north London and elsewhere would do well to take a step back and consider the bigger picture


guardian.co.uk
, Monday 8 August 2011

Since the coalition came to power just over a year ago, the country has seen multiple student protests, occupations of dozens of universities, several strikes, a half-a-million-strong trade union march and now unrest on the streets of the capital (preceded by clashes with Bristol police in Stokes Croft earlier in the year). Each of these events was sparked by a different cause, yet all take place against a backdrop of brutal cuts and enforced austerity measures. The government knows very well that it is taking a gamble, and that its policies run the risk of sparking mass unrest on a scale we haven’t seen since the early 1980s. With people taking to the streets of Tottenham, Edmonton, Brixton and elsewhere over the past few nights, we could be about to see the government enter a sustained and serious losing streak.

The policies of the past year may have clarified the division between the entitled and the dispossessed in extreme terms, but the context for social unrest cuts much deeper. The fatal shooting of Mark Duggan last Thursday, where it appears, contrary to initial accounts, that only police bullets were fired, is another tragic event in a longer history of the Metropolitan police’s treatment of ordinary Londoners, especially those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and the singling out of specific areas and individuals for monitoring, stop and search and daily harassment.

One journalist wrote that he was surprised how many people in Tottenham knew of and were critical of the IPCC, but there should be nothing surprising about this. When you look at the figures for deaths in police custody (at least 333 since 1998 and not a single conviction of any police officer for any of them), then the IPCC and the courts are seen by many, quite reasonably, to be protecting the police rather than the people.

Combine understandable suspicion of and resentment towards the police based on experience and memory with high poverty and large unemployment and the reasons why people are taking to the streets become clear. (Haringey, the borough that includes Tottenham, has the fourth highest level of child poverty in London and an unemployment rate of 8.8%, double the national average, with one vacancy for every 54 seeking work in the borough.)

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/08/context-london-riots

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/world/europe/09britain.html?_r=1&hp

Rioting Widens in London on 3rd Night of Unrest

By RAVI SOMAIYA and
Published: August 8, 2011

LONDON — The rioting and looting that convulsed poorer sections of London over the weekend spread Monday to at least six new parts of the metropolitan area and broke out for the first time in another big city, in what appeared to be the worst outbreak of social unrest in Britain in 25 years.

Prime Minister David Cameron, apparently caught off guard while on vacation at a $10,000-a-week Tuscany villa, made plans to quickly return home and was planning to convene a Cabinet-level meeting on Tuesday to deal with the latest crisis confronting his coalition government. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also scrapped his vacation abroad, as did the top official in charge of domestic security, Home Secretary Theresa May, who flew back to Britain on Monday and said all rioters would be prosecuted.

“There is no excuse for violence, there is no excuse for looting, there is no excuse for thuggery,” Ms. May said.

Despite a huge increase in the number of riot officers, gangs of hooded youths, many of them communicating via Blackberry instant-message technology that the police cannot monitor as well as social networking sites and bicycles and mopeds to spread the word about where to strike, outmaneuvered the police from one riot scene to another in the London districts of Hackney, Lewisham, Clapham, Peckham, Croydon and Woolwich.

They smashed store windows and set several shops and vehicles afire, some of them burning uncontrolled deep into the night, including a large furniture store in Croydon that forced the evacuation of nearby homes. They threw firecrackers, bottles, rocks, chairs and shopping carts at the police and scattered easily to regroup when riot squads charged. Some police officers allowed the looting to go unchecked, concentrating instead on stopping new outbreaks of violence.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/world/europe/09britain.html?_r=1&hp

Driving through London riots: Video of looters ruling in Clapham

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Nature Bats Last: Notes on Revolution and Resistance, Revelation and Redemption

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/08-0

by Robert Jensen
Published on Monday, August 8, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

My title is ambitious and ambiguous: revolution and resistance (which tend to be associated with left politics), revelation and redemption (typically associated with right-wing religion), all framed by a warning about ecological collapse. My goal is to connect these concepts to support an argument for a radical political theology — let me add to the ambiguity here — that can help us claim our power at the moment when we are more powerless than ever, and identify the sources of hope when there is no hope.

First, I realize that the term “radical political theology” may be annoying. Some people will dislike “radical” and prefer a more pragmatic approach. Others will argue that theology shouldn’t be political. Still others will want nothing to do with theology of any kind. At various times in my life, I would have offered all of those objections. Today, I think a politics without a theology is dangerous, a theology without a politics is irrelevant, and radical is realistic.

By politics, I don’t mean we need to pretend to have worked out a traditional political program that will lead us to the land of milk and honey; instead, I’m merely suggesting that we always foreground the basic struggle for power in whatever work we do at whatever level. By theology, I don’t mean that we need to believe in supernatural forces that will lead us to a land of milk and honey; instead, I’m merely pointing out that we all construct a worldview that is not reducible to evidence and logic. In politics and theology, it’s important to be clear about what we know, and even more important to recognize what we don’t know, what we can’t know, what is instinct and emotion.

And all this needs to be radical — not in the self-indulgent “more radical than thou” style that crops up now and then on the left — but rather in the sense of an unflinching honesty about that unjust and unsustainable nature of the systems in which we live. Whatever pragmatic steps we may decide to take in the world, they should be based on radical analysis if they are to be realistic.

Revolution

I’m not interested in speculating about future revolutions, I don’t take seriously anyone who predicts a coming revolution in the United States, and I doubt that the traditional concept of a revolution is even relevant today — the dramatic changes that lie ahead likely won’t arrive that way. Rather than dream of revolutions to come, it’s more productive to think about the revolutions that brought us to this moment.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/08-0

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Time to Stand Up to a Government That Does Not Represent Our Views

From Michael Moore: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/time-to-stand-up

If the Government Represented the Peoples Wishes the Country Would be on the Right Track

By Kevin Zeese
August 8, 2011

Elections no longer work. Lobbying no longer works. Email and telephone campaigns no longer work. Symbolic protests no longer work.  Americans need to get organized and mobilized to demand what we want.

The occupation begins on October 6, 2011 when thousands of Americans enter Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC and refuse to leave.  We are calling the occupation Stop the Machine: Create a New World.  The new world we seek is already supported by super-majorities of the American people.  A large majority of Americans consistently support the following agenda:

- Tax the rich and corporations
- End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending
- Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security and improved Medicare for all
- End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests
- Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation
- Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages
- Get money out of politics

The government, dominated by elite economic interests, is going in the opposite direction from what the people want.  The American people’s agenda is our agenda.

We are occupying Freedom Plaza to shift power from concentrated corporate power to the people.  October2011.org’s agenda is an evidence-based one, not based on polling.  However, polling shows the American people support transformative change. These polling results show the people know how to save the country but the government is too corrupt to do what is necessary.

These solutions are part of transformative we begin to describe in “Fifteen Core Issues the Country Must Face.”  Each of these 15 issues will have a detailed policy description linked to it once participants discuss them on the October2011.org website.  You can join the discussion by signing up with the October2011.org m

Continue reading at:  http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/time-to-stand-up

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Obama Sides With Panetta On Need To Cut Medicare Over Defense

From Talking Points Memo: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/obama-sides-with-panetta-on-need-to-cut-medicare-over-defense.php?ref=fpb

Brian Beutler
August 8, 2011

Last week, Congressional Democrats were blindsided by newly-confirmed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who basically nixed any further cuts to military spending, and demanded that lawmakers trim from programs like Medicare and raise taxes to reduce future deficits.

Soon a new deficit Super Committee will begin debating tax and entitlement reform, and the penalty if they gridlock includes steep defense cuts. Republicans are expected to seize on Panetta’s remarks to push for another deficit deal that comes exclusively from entitlement cuts. So Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) called on President Obama to repudiate Panetta.

Obama did precisely the opposite in his White House speech Monday. “Our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term last week we reached an historic agreement — reached an agreement that weill make historic cuts to defense and domestic spending,” Obama said. “But there’s not much further that we can cut in either of those categories. What we need to do now is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps: tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare.”

Complete article at:  http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/obama-sides-with-panetta-on-need-to-cut-medicare-over-defense.php?ref=fpb

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How the US media marginalises dissent

From Al Jazeera: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/20118164314283633.html

The US media derides views outside of the mainstream as ‘un-serious’, and our democracy suffers as a result.

Ted Rall
04 Aug 2011

“Over the past few weeks, Washington has seemed dysfunctional,” conservative columnist David Brooks opined recently in The New York Times. “Public disgust [about the debt ceiling crisis] has risen to epic levels. Yet through all this, serious people – Barack Obama, John Boehner, the members of the Gang of Six – have soldiered on.”

Here’s some of what Peter Coy of Business Week magazine had to say about the same issue: “There is a comforting story about the debt ceiling that goes like this: Back in the 1990s, the US was shrinking its national debt at a rapid pace. Serious people actually worried about dislocations from having too little government debt …”

Fox News, the Murdoch-owned house organ of America’s official right-wing, asserted: “No one seriously thinks that the US will not honour its obligations, whatever happens with the current impasse on President Obama’s requested increase to the government’s $14.3tn borrowing limit.”

“Serious people.”

“No one seriously thinks.”

Limiting the terms of debate

The American media deploys a deep and varied arsenal of rhetorical devices in order to marginalise opinions, people and organisations as “outside the mainstream” and therefore not worth listening to. For the most part the people and groups being declaimed belong to the political Left. To take one example, the Green Party – well-organised in all 50 states – is never quoted in newspapers or invited to send a representative to television programmes that purport to present “both sides” of a political issue. (In the United States, “both sides” means the back-and-forth between centre-right Democrats and rightist Republicans)

Marginalisation is the intentional decision to exclude a voice in order to prevent a “dangerous” opinion from gaining currency, to block a politician or movement from becoming more powerful, or both. In 2000, the media-backed consortium that sponsored the presidential debate between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush banned Green Party candidate Ralph Nader from participating. Security goons even threatened to arrest him when he showed up with a ticket and asked to be seated in the audience. Nader is a liberal consumer advocate who became famous in the US for stridently advocating for safety regulations, particularly on automobiles.

Third-party candidates have taken part in televised presidential debates twice: John Anderson in 1980 and H. Ross Perot in 1992. Both, perhaps not so coincidentally, were men of the Right. In 2000, debate bosses excluded Nader using the excuse that his support (as measured by public opinion polls) was too insignificant to impact the election.

Continue reading at:  http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/20118164314283633.html

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