By Carrie Johnson
Sept. 1, 2011
The Obama Justice Department has been taking a more aggressive approach against people who block access to abortion clinics, using a 1994 law to bring cases in greater numbers than its predecessor.
The numbers are most stark when it comes to civil lawsuits, which seek to create buffer zones around clinic entrances for people who have blocked access in the past. Under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act, the Justice Department’s civil rights division has filed eight civil cases since the start of the Obama administration. That’s a big increase over the George W. Bush years, when one case was filed in eight years.
“There’s been a substantial difference between this administration and the one immediately prior,” says Ellen Gertzog, director of security for Planned Parenthood. “From where we sit, there’s currently much greater willingness to carefully assess incidents when they occur and to proceed with legal action when appropriate.”
Over the past two years, the Justice Department and FBI have been meeting with abortion-rights groups and medical providers all over the country to explain their work and talk about a federal task force designed to prevent violence against doctors and women seeking abortions.
The National Abortion Federation, which tracks violent incidents, says major violence is down since the 2009 murder of abortion doctor George Tiller. The man who killed Tiller has been convicted, and a federal grand jury is investigating the conduct of his alleged accomplices.
But Sharon Levin, a vice president at the National Abortion Federation, says there are still some signs of trouble, including two incidents this summer involving Molotov cocktails and the arrest of a man who told police he wanted to shoot two abortion doctors in Wisconsin.
by Dana Lane Taylor
August 31, 2011
Reposted with Permission
You can’t make this stuff up.
People assigned male at birth who express themselves in a feminine manner on a part-time basis constitute one vital component of that gender diversity. it is just as valid as transsexualism
Just as valid as transsexualism. Really! What the hell does that mean? Does Joelle suffer from transsexualism?
If Transsexual Separatists want nothing to do with the “Transgender Borg” and want off the “Transgender Reservation” (but ironically enough can’t seem to stay away from us to let us know their militant views), so be it. The Transgender Movement, Cross-Dressers included, will go on all the better without your bitterness, divisiveness and me-me-me theatrics.
Earth to Joelle. I am going to pimp slap you, fool! Do you realize that we have been colonized? Do you understand that “transgender” was created to “erase” transsexuals? Did you not see the interview of Yvonne Cook-Riley? Are YOU a woman who was born transsexual or are you just a full time crossdresser? I will do some research later to see how many articles you have published about “women’s rights”. It seems the TeeGee zoo only cares about the rights of men who like to wear women’s clothing.
Attention feminists! Joelle is trying to to help men break from the shackles of a patriarchal society. Yes, you can’t make this shit up.
Cross-Dressers help to liberate men from the shackles of patriarchal masculinity. Feminism has gone a long way to liberate women and men in this society. But it is incomplete because men are still so heavily policed from cradle to grave based on their placement in the category “male.”
Joelle’s outlook on men who target women as a fetish. WOMEN’S RIGHTS!!!
Because the fetish community is also part of our community—deal with it! Now let me be clear: not all Cross-Dressers consider their activity a fetish (in fact most probably don’t) and some receive sexual gratification from cross-dressing and some don’t. But here’s the thing: I stand in complete support of Cross-Dressers who do so solely or primarily for sexual gratification.
I just can’t continue. Go read this piece of crap yourselves if you want. THIS is transgender. THIS is what transgender rights means. To minimize women’s rights, minimize the transsexual condition, so that men can jerk off in women’s panties. WAY TO GO JOELLE! Joelle fully supports “women’s rights” as long as they are just part-time women.
Again, “Transgender” is the transgender communities’ worst enemy.
Joelle Ruby Ryan, would you be willing to stand in front of lawmakers when a law is being passed for transgender and transsexual protections that include public accommodations and give that speech? Would you? Ask Monica Roberts, Toni D’Orsay, Monica Helms and all of the other transgender leadership if they would want you speaking for the transgender community. They won’t be able to answer yes. Why? Because unlike you, they refuse to acknowledge this stuff. Why? Because society would tell you to go fuck yourself.
Dana Lane Taylor
Be sure to visit TS/IS Liberation
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/01-13
This Labor Day, as union membership falls to a mere seven percent of private sector workers and bargaining and political clout shrink to match, two roads diverge for American labor. One is to attempt to find a niche within an economic-political system that is ever more shaped by short-term greed and is therefore ever more unsustainable economically, socially, and environmentally. The other is to align with the long-term interest of workers in transforming that system to provide for a sustainable future for the planet and its people. Organized labor will have a better future if it chooses the second road.
Labor has always had two hearts beating within a single breast – one representing a particular group of workers, the other responding to the wider needs of working people as a whole. But now unions can only protect their members by championing the interests of all working people.
The Tea Party is intent on wiping out collective bargaining in the public sector. Corporations are wiping out what is left of it in the private sector. Faced with these assaults, labor will inevitably be tempted to hunker down and defend the immediate interests of its remaining members. But that will just accelerate its decline.
The Wisconsin demonstrations and sit-ins supporting labor rights show that labor can win broad public support when it is perceived as fighting for broad public interests, rather than the “special interests” of one union or group of workers.
The broad public interest that ordinary Americans truly seek is sustainability. Even those who are misled into believing that government budget deficits are the greatest threat to our future are motivated by a concern to put that future on a sustainable basis.
Our greed-driven society is economically unsustainable – witness the renewed catastrophe of the global economy. It is socially unsustainable – witness the destruction of the middle class and the polarization of rich and poor worldwide. And it is environmentally unsustainable – witness the melting of the Arctic, the rise in sea levels, and the unprecedented increase in extreme weather events caused by our failure to halt climate change.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/01-13
Ever notice how citing Virginia Prince as the coiner of the term “Transgender” causes the members of both Transgender Inc and the Transgender Borg to go into fits of twisted syntactical word salad as they try to argue that the Prince of many names didn’t actually coin the word.
The reality is that transgender is just another word for transvestite. Prince was constantly coining terms to replace transvestite and transvestism. Femmephile. He coined the concept of “gender expression”.
Transgender had nothing to do with Stonewall. The people Transgender Inc and the Borg claim were either drag queens or transsexual. I feel safe in saying this as I know the level of homophobia present in Tri-Ess and the other heterosexual transvestite organizations.
I can equally safely say there weren’t transgender people at the Compton Cafeteria Riot but there were drag queens and transsexuals.
I remember reading Darrell G Raynor’s strange little book A Year Among the Girls about heterosexual transvestites and Casa Suzanna way back in the 1960s and thinking, “This is freaking bizarre. These people are freaks.”
The whole idea of heterosexual transvestism seemed totally odd to me as an emerging transsexual. I didn’t have a problem with drag queens. While getting a sex change operation seemed pretty impossible in 1967, involving places like Casablanca and all, being a drag queen with a hip boy friend seem doable.
I associated sex identity with sexuality at that point and there were enough young men who made my heart go pitta-pat for me to see living as a woman and having a boyfriend as plan B.
I left home later that year. Was more or less told to get out.
I went to San Francisco because I had heard that there were places there where a person with transsexualism could find support.
I found them and doctors who made what I had thought nearly impossible just months before easily doable.
I also discovered transsexuals had next to nothing in common with drag queens, even with the drag queens who lived full time as women.
I heard the nasty comments about the genitals of post-SRS women. Things like, “Mutilated man”, “Dead hole.”. Today’s transgender Borg think they are some how being creative or thinking for themselves when they come up with these slurs but they are in fact simply repeating shit that the queens and transvestites of the 1960s and early 1970s said.
The following is part of the history of the Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc you will not hear from Christan Williams or anyone else who would rather present revisionist history that makes it appear as though the Transgender as Umbrella movement had its roots in the drag queens of the Gay and Lesbian Movement or in the early Transsexual Movement.
Transgender as umbrella has its roots in the heterosexual transvestite movement, many of whom later came out as transsexual and perpetuated their own mythology as to how it was impossible to like women or have been married and gotten SRS even though Dr. B.’s book mentioned people who had been heterosexually married prior to coming out. As did one of the earliest memoirs, The Roberta Cowell Story. She got SRS in 1952 shortly before Christine.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/garden/07trann.html?pagewanted=2
THERE was a pilot and a businessman, an accountant, a librarian and a pharmacologist. There was a newspaper publisher, and a court translator. By day, they were the men in the gray flannel suits, but on the weekends, they were Felicity, Cynthia, Gail, Sandy, Fiona, Virginia and Susanna. It was the dawn of the 1960’s, yet they wore their late 50’s fashions with awkward pride: the white gloves, the demure dresses and low heels, the stiff wigs. Many were married with children, or soon would be. In those pre-Judith Butler, pre-Phil Donahue days, when gender was more tightly tethered to biology, these men’s “gender migrations,” or “gender dysphoria,” as the sociologists began to call cross-dressing, might cost them their marriages, their jobs, their freedom.
And so they kept their feminine selves hidden, except for weekends at Casa Susanna, a slightly run-down bungalow camp in Hunter, N.Y., that was the only place where they could feel at home.
Decades later, when Robert Swope, a gentle punk rocker turned furniture dealer, came across their pictures — a hundred or so snapshots and three photo albums in a box at the 26th Street flea market in Manhattan — he knew nothing about their stories, or Casa Susanna, beyond the obvious: here was a group of men dressed as women, beautiful and homely, posing with gravity, happiness and in some cases outright joy. They were playing cards, eating dinner, having a laugh. They didn’t look campy, like drag queens vamping it up as Diana Ross or Cher; they looked like small-town parishioners, like the lady next door, or your aunt in Connecticut.
Mr. Swope was stunned by the pictures and moved by the mysterious world they revealed. He and his partner, Michel Hurst, gathered them into a book, “Casa Susanna,” which was published by Powerhouse Books in 2005 and reissued last spring, and which became an instant sensation, predictably, in the worlds of fashion and design. Paul Smith stores sold it, as did the SoHo design store and gallery Moss, which made a Christmas diorama of a hundred copies last year. Last month, you might have seen it in the hands of a child-size mannequin in the Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker Street.
Casa Susanna was owned by Susanna herself — the court translator, otherwise known as Tito Valenti — and Valenti’s wife, Marie, who conveniently ran a wig store on Fifth Avenue and was happy to provide makeover lessons and to cook for the weekend guests. It was a place of cultivated normalcy, where Felicity, Cynthia, Gail, Fiona and the others were free to indulge their radical urges to play Scrabble in a dress, trade makeup tips or walk in heels in the light of day.
“These men had one foot in the mainstream and the other in the margins,” Mr. Hill said the other day. “I’m fascinated by that position and their paradox, which is that the strict gender roles of the time were both the source of their anxiety and pain, and also the key to escaping that pain.”
“It was the most remarkable release of pressure, and it meant the world to me then,” he said. “I’d grown up in a very conventional family. I had the desire to marry, to have the house, the car, the dog. And I eventually did. But at that point there were all these conflicting desires that had no focal points. I didn’t know where I fit.”
Sandy remembers one weekend sharing a cabin with another man and his girlfriend. “She obviously accepted the situation with him for better or worse,” Sandy began. “Anyway, I didn’t get dressed until later in the day, and when I did, the girlfriend was just coming down the stairs. ‘Oh my,’ she said, ‘you certainly have made a change. I have to tell you, I much preferred the person who got out of the car.’ And with that she reached under my dress and groped me. She said, ‘It’s a shame to have all that locked up in there.’ In one sense, it was titillating, in another, depressing. And yet in another way, it put a finger on the issue.”
Complete article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/garden/07trann.html?pagewanted=2
In spite of what the identity politics folks would have you believe, being African American doesn’t make Obama a progressive. But for some folks his being African American is the most important aspect of his being, and that goes for some of his die hard supporters as much as it does for the racists who hate him because he is black.
I voted for Obama. That was because he was supposedly a Democrat. He’s a DINO and because I’m a Yellow Dog Democrat I’ll probably have to vote for him again. But he won’t get a dime from me.
To me he is an African American George W. Bush. He models himself after Reagan, arguably one of the worst Presidents this country has ever had. He is a worse corporate toady than Clinton and has totally sold out the working class to Wall Street.
When this country needed another FDR or even LBJ we wound up stuck with George Bush 3.0, the African American version.
President Barack Obama Friday announced that he would overrule the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial anti-smog regulations. Business leaders and Republicans had voiced strong objections to the new smog standards, and they count Obama’s decision as a victory.
Obama cited a desire to avoid costly regulations as his reason for telling EPA Director Lisa Jackson to withdraw the smog rule.
Depending on how strict the standards were, the new smog rules were estimated to cost between $19 billion and $90 billion, according to Forbes.
“I want to be clear: my commitment and the commitment of my administration to protecting public health and the environment is unwavering,” Obama said in a statement sent by the White House. “I will continue to stand with the hardworking men and women at the EPA as they strive every day to hold polluters accountable and protect our families from harmful pollution.”
The rule will be reconsidered in 2013, Obama said, and it was pointless to pay for regulations that would be so soon up for redrafting.
Last week, Obama was chided by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for the number of governmental regulations under consideration as well as the amount of regulations with costs exceeding $1 billion.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/01-4
What entitlement! I hit the gas, power off to my destination. No one asks me whether the trip is serious or banal, necessary or foolish, conscious or impulsive. I just go, ripping up the miles as though they were daydreams. The engine purrs. My name is Everyman, and I have the power of gods.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not addicted or anything. I can get off oil whenever I want to. On the other hand, I may be willing to sacrifice 740,000 acres of pristine boreal forest in Northern Canada — part of one of the largest intact ecosystems left on the planet — along with, oh, 166 million birds, and all the remaining caribou in Alberta, before I do. Tough call.
“The tar sands are a huge pool of carbon, but one that does not make sense to exploit. When other huge oil fields or coal mines were opened in the past, we knew much less about the damage that the carbon they contained would do to the Earth’s climate system and to its oceans.
“Now that we do know, it’s imperative that we move quickly to alternate forms of energy. As scientists, speaking for ourselves and not for any of our institutions, we can say categorically that Keystone XL is not only not in the national interest, it’s also not in the planet’s best interest.”
This is what a group of 19 prominent climate scientists, including Dr. James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, wrote recently to President Obama, who has the authority to nix the proposed 1,700-mile, $7 billion pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to oil refineries in Texas and Oklahoma. All he has to do is deny the permit that would allow the pipeline to cross an international border. It’s Obama’s call alone; Congress has no say in the matter.
Hansen is one of hundreds of people who have been arrested in front of the White House recently in an ongoing protest against the construction of the pipeline, in what may be the most crucial showdown on climate change and national policy the country has yet seen.
“The stand against tar sand oil is basically about protecting God’s creation and God’s people,” said one of the protesters, United Church of Christ minister Rev. Mari Castellanos. “The process of extraction destroys the boreal forest and wetlands, leaves behind enormous lakes of toxic waste and causes high levels of greenhouse gas pollution. To engage in peaceful protest against it is sacramental.”
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/01-4
From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/08/31/309249/huntsman-taxes-rich/
Seth Hanlon, director of Fiscal Reform for the Doing What Works project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Aug 31, 2011
2012 GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman is releasing an economic plantoday that is as bad for the middle-class — and as nutty — as any proposed by his rivals. It would pay for a half-million-dollar tax break for the richest 0.1 percent of Americans with tax increases on the middle-class and new taxes on seniors, veterans, and poor families.
In an apparent attempt to eclipse all previous Republican giveaways, including the disastrous Bush tax cuts, Huntsman would drop the marginal rate paid by the richest Americans by more than a third to 23 percent — a lower rate than rich people paid during the Coolidge and Hoover Administrations or any time since. He would also eliminate all taxes on all capital gains and dividend income — the primary forms of income for the wealthiest Americans.
Huntsman says he will pay for this supply-side bonanza by eliminating all so-called “tax expenditures.” He probably borrowed the idea from a theoretical scenario described by the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (aka, the deficit commission). The Commission observed that if all tax expenditures were eliminated, income tax rates could, in theory, be consolidated into three brackets: 8, 14, and 23 percent — the same as what Huntsman proposed today.
But the Commission only offered that scenario as a thought experiment, not as a serious proposal. In fact, no one has seriously proposed to eliminate all tax expenditures because doing so would punish seniors, the middle-class, poor families, and veterans, among others.
Huntsman either hasn’t thought through — or doesn’t want people to know — what eliminating all tax expenditures would actually mean. So let’s take a look at the official tax expenditure list and see what would happen if we got rid of all of them:
Continue reading at: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/08/31/309249/huntsman-taxes-rich/
From Robert Reich: http://robertreich.org/post/9603077350
By Robert Reich
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Of all the nonsense Texas Governor Rick Perry spews about states’ rights and the tenth amendment, his dumbest is the notion that states should go it alone. “We’ve got a great Union,” he said at a Tea Party rally in Austin in April 2009. “There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”
The core of his message isn’t outright secession, though. It’s that the locus of governmental action ought to be at the state rather than the federal level. “It is essential to our liberty,” he writes in his book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington, “that we be allowed to live as we see fit through the democratic process at the local and state level.”
Perry doesn’t like the Federal Reserve Board. He hates the Internal Revenue Service even more. Presumably if he had his way taxpayers would pay states rather than the federal government for all the services and transfer payments they get.
This might be a good deal for Texas. According to the most recent data from the Tax Foundation, the citizens of Texas receive only 94 cents from the federal government for every tax dollar they send to Washington.
But it would be a bad deal for most other red states. On average, citizens of states with strong Republican majorities get back more from the federal government than they pay in. Kentucky receives $1.51 from Washington for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes. Alabama gets back $1.66. Louisiana receives $1.78. Alaska, $1.84. Mississippi, $2.02. Arizona, $1.19. Idaho, $1.21. South Carolina, $1.35. Oklahoma, $1.36. Arkansas, $1.41. Montana, $1.47, Nebraska, $1.10. Wyoming, $1.11. Kansas, $1.12.
Continue reading at: http://robertreich.org/post/9603077350
Despite lawsuits and activism, women’s health clinics are shutting their doors, thanks to “regulations” coming, in one case, from secret origins.
By Sarah Seltzer
August 30, 2011
In Arizona, three clinics have stopped providing abortions thanks to a new law that makes it illegal for nurse practitioners to perform medical abortions.
In Kansas, a family planning clinic is scheduled to close thanks to government pulling funding, while the courts continue to battle out a set of new restrictions that just happen to make it impossible for several abortion clinics in the state to operate at all.
And in Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell has taken a page from Kansas’ book and is issuing some of the most drastic abortion restrictions seen since Roe, targeting clinics that provide first-trimester abortions with regulations that will effectively force them to shut their doors.
These “bogus safety restrictions” are the newest front in the war on women. At the same time, older battles from this year are resulting in clear-as-day effects already: invasive sonogram laws in Texas, parental consent laws in Nevada, and the constant pulling of funding from family planning.
These policies are already having negative consequences for women, sometimes drastic ones. While lawsuits, activism and brave legislators have been pushing against the tide, a number of volleys in the “war on women” have hit their targets, and some women are already showing up at the doors of health care providers only to find that services they need are unavailable.
Partly this is because of the multi-pronged approach anti-choicers have taken. Beyond passing restrictions like the ones mentioned above, there’s an increasingly common tactic, perhaps the most direct assault on abortion rights of all: the introduction of a new set of TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws in places like Kansas and now Virginia establishing physical and medical requirements so stringent that clinics can hardly operate.
Kate Sheppard reported on the new Virginia regulations this week, under the headline “Are Virginia’s New Abortion Rules the Worst Yet?”:
The regulations require Virginia’s 22 clinics to meet strict new physical standards; pre-op rooms, for example, must measure at least 80 square feet, and operating rooms must measure 250 square feet. Hallways must be at least five feet wide. The requirements are based on the state’s 2010 guidelines for new outpatient surgical facilities.Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told Mother Jones on Monday that the new rules may actually be the most strict regulations in the United States. “It would be challenging for the majority of our facilities to continue offering first-trimester care,” Keene said. “These are designed to really cease first-trimester abortion services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
The Texas governor’s real anti-abortion agenda – enforcing sexual abstinence – not only insults women; it doesn’t work
Rick Perry‘s chances at passing himself off as a reasonable Republican were diminished considerably yet again this week, when the Centre for Reproductive Rights secured a victory against a draconian anti-abortion regulation Perry rushed through the legislature in May, claiming while doing so that it was an emergency measure. When US district judge Sam Sparks rejected the law and blocked enforcement, he created an occasion for the national media to look more closely at Perry’s record on women’s rights. What they’ll find is that Perry goes far beyond the usual anti-abortion platitudes: he not only bears a zealous hatred of abortion rights, but also a hostility to contraception and sex education.
While many states have mandatory ultrasound laws, the Texas bill rushed into law by Perry goes many steps further. The law requires a woman seeking an abortion to endure an anti-choice lecture delivered by a doctor who doesn’t agree with the content, which gave judge Sparks the chance to reject the law on freedom of speech grounds. But what’s truly alarming about the law is the searing contempt for women’s dignity and intelligence baked right into it. Women would be required to go through an uncomfortable, invasive vaginal probe sonogram in order to get the picture and audible heartbeat required. They would then be sent home 24 hours to “think” about the decision, putting the Texas government in the position of a schoolteacher sending women to the corner.
Probing “dirty girls” with vaginal wands and then punishing them as though they were naughty children? This seems like Perry and the Texas legislature have mixed up writing laws with scripting pornography. Unfortunately, for the women of Texas, these ritual humiliations dreamed up by Republican legislators aren’t actually sexy fantasies but miserable realities – but for a federal judge remembering that women, too, have constitutional rights.
To add insult to unwanted bodily invasion, Perry justified his support for the law by arguing that women are dog-stupid. “This important sonogram legislation ensures that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying,” he bleated, “and understands the devastating impact of such a life-changing decision.” In other words, women need to be put through unnecessary vaginal probing, condescending lectures and 24-hour waiting periods, because without all this harassment, they might not realise that if they have an abortion, they won’t be having a baby.
One shudders to think of what other legislation could come from such a view of women’s basic intelligence. Would Perry support a law requiring tampons to be labelled “Do not wear in ears”?