Transgender Inc. and The Transgender Borg Collective and Why I Use those Terms for the “Transgender Community”

I am not transgender.

I am not part of the “Transgender Community”.

I was never part of the “Transgender Community” because there was no “Transgender Community” when I transitioned.  There was a “Drag Queen” Community’ and I was not a part of it.  There was a “Transvestite Community and I sure as hell wasn’t part of that.

I was part of the Hippie Community, the Radical Community, the Feminist Community.  I still am even if those communities are less obvious today.

I was transsexual not because I identified as transsexual but because I was in the process of taking female hormones and getting a sex change operation.  I considered myself a hippie, a revolutionary and a feminist, one who happened to be transsexual.  That is different from considering oneself to be a transsexual who happens to be a hippie, revolutionary and feminist.

I had a sex change operation.  We called it that in the days before the Borg came along with a hundred different euphemisms that obscure the salient point that, sex reassignment surgery changes the physical sex one was assigned at birth and physically makes the person receiving it in to a member of the sex they weren’t assigned at birth.

The way the Transgender Borg fetishize the phrase post-op makes it seem as though a sex change operation is more akin to a nose job than something that alters who you are on a really basic level.  It also makes it seem as though the operation simply makes you a transgender person who had an operation.

I started using post-transsexual instead.  My life concerns are not those of the Borg nor are they the same as people with transsexualism who are in the process of changing sex, another phrase that has been euphemized  into “transition”.

I am post-transsexual because I had a sex change operation.  Not only that, but I had it so long ago they hadn’t invented GID yet.  In those days they called it “transsexualism” and people had sex change operations to treat being born with transsexualism.  We didn’t have WPATH, SOC or even a Harry Benjamin Society Standards of Care.  We had Dr. Benjamin SOC and we followed them because he cared about us and they were reasonable.  They weren’t profit generating tools for psychiatrists.

Before sex reassignment I was a left wing hippie radical and feminist.  After sex reassignment surgery I realized I was a lesbian.  We were as varied a group of transsexuals as the groups of today.

This is why I call into question the unquestionable dogma of both the Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc.

I am a feminist and I think all the peddling of replacing sex with gender is not only sketchy but an androcentric way of forcing women into specific sex(gender) roles that keep women as second class citizens.

Further as someone who maintained a literature archives for years before donating it to a historical archives, I’ve read enough of the transvestite literature to know many who read that material have a strong streak of masochism along with idea that feminine equals submissive.

Having been an activist of the left, a feminist and a lesbian since the 1960s/70s.  I know the actual history and was part of that history.

I know that the roots of the “Transgender Community” are in the heterosexual transvestite communities, that Virginia Prince coined Transgender.  (The quibble point about Prince coining Transgenderist not Transgender is BS.  Transgenderist is to transgender what feminist is to feminism.)

It did not grow out of the Transsexual Community.

Prince despised transsexual women.  He was the actual original purveyor of most of the filthy slurs now attributed to people like Janice Raymond.  He was a man at that point and was the author of a couple of rather slimy booklets including “How to be a Woman, though Male” and the ultra misogynistic “A Transvestite and his Wife”.  He had a doctorate in Pharmacology at a time when many, if not most actual transsexual women were lucky if they finished high school and had a little bit of college education.  This made his giving hours upon hours of interviews to people like Stoller, Green and Money, etc instrumental to the pathologizing of transsexuality.

He was the source of many of the vicious attacks used by both the Transgender Borg Collective and by Janice Raymond.

But where did I come up with “Transgender Inc.”?

Believe it or not I actually tend to find Transgender Inc, the politicos less offensive than I find the cult of the TG Borg.  I gave them that label when they started using “Gay Inc.”.  For one thing I noticed how lesbians have been erased by people who often seem to have some major issues of sexism.  Further of heterosexism.

Transgender Inc started dictating to the Lesbian and Gay Communities that they should drop their pursuit of marriage equality. Marriage Equality was a goal of the Gay and Lesbian Communities even before  Stonewall, yet gay and lesbian people are to put that issue aside and dedicate themselves to working for a “Trans-Inclusive ENDA”.  Never mind that it will be infinitely difficult to pass this “trans-inclusive” nationally given that anyone who looks carefully at both the language and all the people this is supposed to include starts focusing on the odd bearded men, who wear some women’s clothing but clearly aren’t women.  The ones who get threatening and loud when anyone thinks they aren’t women. Or the ones who want to show up for work as a man one day and a woman the next.  Or the gender queers who demand people address them using gender neutral language.

I’m old.  I want to marry my partner.  Marriage Equality is my big issue and I don’t like Transgender political leaders telling me what my priorities should be.

I been fighting discrimination against women in the work place since I started the process of becoming female.  Discrimination against women is still a problem and sometimes the complaints of some transgender and yes, some transsexual women (particularly those in certain professions) sound as though they are driven by having had a lifetime of male privilege taken away.

There is also the same professionalization and careerist element that has become all too common to all of the National Activist organizations.  The sense that the people at the top will never have enough money to out bribe the corporations in order to get “our” representatives to actually represent us and not the corporate interests.  This leaves those of us back in the hinter lands wondering just what the fuck these “activists” are doing.  Mostly they all seem a variation on the schmoozing Joe Solmonese.

In the case of Transgender Inc. they seem to be trying to sell a transparently deceptive concept that benefits part time transvestites at the same time it utterly disregards the interests of post-transsexual and assigned female at birth women. There is the blatant misuse and misrepresentation of post-transsexual women that is brought about by erasing and marginalizing anyone who dissents from the Transgender Dogma that is at the core of the ideology of both Transgender Inc and the Transgender Borg.

The one big thing both groups focus upon is a fetishization of “gender” and “gender identity” going so far as to press for gender to replace sex as a determinant as to who is a woman and who is a man

One thing about being a feminist and woman identified is asking is something positive or negative for women.  I see all the focus on gender as having an extremely negative impact on women.

To me that seems to be a reactionary rehash of the idea of sex roles determining who is really a man and who is really a woman.

I’ve fought that idea my entire adult life both as a feminist and as a part of the Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movements.  I’m old enough to recall the branding of gay men as womanish and lesbians as mannish, in spite of those lesbians and gay men being quite happy with the sex they were assigned at birth.

In spite of that opportunists in both transgender Inc. and the transgender Borg have on occasion attempted to claim both gay and lesbian people as transgender based on their perceived lack of masculinity or femininity.

I view this as totally reactionary and the dialectical opposite of gender role/sex role freedom.

So I use Transgender Inc for the politicos.  As with any political group my agreement or disagreement with their positions is conditional.  One major factor on an ad hoc basis is if the position helps or harms women.  Another major one is if it helps or harm post-op transsexual women in any way, including the demand by both Transgender Inc. and the Borg that post-transsexual women and men be considered  part of the “Transgender Community”.

There are other issues.  Over the last few months, I have come to view Transgender Inc. as having a number of people who are either actively exploiting the community in order to be professional activists or run organizations that have on several occasions been discovered to have played fast and loose with the money they were supposed to be managing.

Transgender Inc. tends to suffer from the same divorced from the grass roots problems found in Gay Inc or the people running the Democratic Party.  They are not addressing the major problems of sex work and substance abuse that have led so many in their community to lead kamikaze life styles organized around drugs, silicone pumping and street prostitution.  Instead they are ensconced in their safe middle class, privileged lobbyist positions fighting for causes that will have next to no positive effect on the lives of the people they are holding up as martyrs.

As a post-transsexual lesbian member of the Gay and Lesbian Community I feel the relationship my community has with the transgender community has been one of exploitation. The Transgender Community is historically rooted in the heterosexual male transvestite community (despite its attempts to obscure those roots by the colonization of both transsexuals and the drag communities).  They have decided it would be beneficial to the “Transgender Community” to colonize the Gay and Lesbian Movement to the point  where we are now faced with a noisy minority faction, half of whom are either heterosexually married or could legally be heterosexually married demanding the right to dictate the direction of a movement they have decided to exploit.  They are a minority group yet use victimhood as a lever to claim the right to determine the larger group’s agenda and direction.

The Transgender Borg Collective is comprised of far more people and is something  I view as more  insidious and harmful to women in general and specifically to post-transsexual women.

I would question describing it as a “community”.

It isn’t a community unless you also consider Scientology or the Moonies a community.  It is a cult, and one that exercises a level of thought control that Stalin would have studied and chosen to emulate.

Further not all transgender people are part of this cult and that is why I do not label all transgender people with the often used and all too easy slurs.

I mean, do you actually think I would have had transgender people as close friends and lovers if they had spouted this misogynistic babble at me?

So I go after the ideology because in the real world rather than the nebulous world of bits, bytes and transfer protocols real people are having their human rights infringed and I’m not going to let the strange and hateful rhetoric, the ideology straight from Prince cause me to start abusing people who aren’t a part of this cult of on-line “Transgender enforcers”.

In the late 1960s and 1970s there were all sorts of strange cults going around:  Tony and Susan Alamo, Scientology, the Moonies, Children of God,  the Lyndon LaRouche followers, the Hare Krishnas.

They all showed the same characteristics that make up cult behavior.  The us/them mentality.  The dogmatic thinking, the creation of a world view that broaches no deviation from the ideology of the cult.

But the most unnerving similarity to these cults on the part of the Transgender Borg is how they treat those who were part of their cult either voluntarily or involuntarily but who leave the cult.

When Tina and I started using the meme “women born transsexual” we meant it to signify a rejection of all the psychiatric theory and an embrace of the idea that we were born this way.

We were immediately attacked by transvestites and other people who play the game of virtual transgender outlaw on line.

We are labeled as bigots and transphobes, elitist scum and worse.

We are subjected to public denouncing and anything they may have done with in the “community” is erased from memory.

All for having the audacity to question the strange jumble of Virginia Prince and Judith Butler post-modern thinking that is supposed to pass as logical and coherent yet ends up sounding like a series of memorized talking points straight out of some sort of fundamentalist cult.

Therefore the top end variety of Transgender activism like the top end version of Gay/Lesbian activism has earned the label Transgender Inc. just as HRC has earned the label Gay Inc.

While the ideological Stalinists who have become the blogosphere grass roots of the Transgender community have earned the label the “Transgender Borg Collective” for all their abusive ideology, their blatant colonization of transsexuals and their excruciatingly painful ordeals regarding political and ideological purity.

Post-transsexual folks are better off getting on with their lives and leaving the “Community” to engage in its cannibalistic orgies of  political correctness.

Obama Team Feared Coup If He Prosecuted War Crimes

From Op-Ed News: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Obama-Team-Feared-Coup-If-by-Andrew-Kreig-110907-156.html

By Andrew Kreig
September 7, 2011

President-Elect Obama’s advisers feared in 2008 that authorities would oust him in a coup and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Obama’s top transition advisers.

University of California at Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., above, the sixth highest-ranking member of the 2008 post-election transition team preparing Obama’s administration, revealed the team’s thinking on Sept. 2 in moderating a forum on 9/11 held by his law school (also known as Boalt Hall). Edley was seeking to explain Obama’s “looks forward” policy on suspected Bush-era law-breaking that the president-elect announced on a TV talk show in January 2009.

But Edley’s rationale implies that Obama, or at least his team, feared the military/national security forces that the president is supposed be commanding — and that Republicans have intimidated him right from the start of his presidency even after voters in 2008 rejected Republicans by the largest combined presidential-congressional mandate in recent U.S. history.

Edley responded to my request for additional information by providing a description of the transition team’s fears. Edley said that transition officials, not Obama, agreed that he faced the possibility of a coup.

I’m grateful, of course, that this eminent scholar took time on short notice to describe such important decision-making. But I have two blunt reactions that frame the details below:

 First, this doesn’t look to me like presidential leadership, no matter what the rationales. Voters “hired” the Obama team to lead the country, not fret about possible retaliation. No one wants to see an assassination or coup. But the kids fighting Mideast wars, like those in wars before them, have no guarantees — or even Secret Service protection.
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WI Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin: ‘I’m not afraid’

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/07/wi-senate-candidate-tammy-baldwin-im-not-afraid/

By Kase Wickman
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) insisted that she did not want her senatorial campaign to revolve around her sexuality but around her capability as a leader.

“The people of Wisconsin are looking for someone who will be a fighter for them,” Baldwin said in the call, which was hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. “I have taken on incredibly tough challenges over the years that I’ve had the privilege of serving in the House…People also will recognize that I’ve got a lifetime commitment to equality for all. They’ll learn that I’m not afraid to stand up to big tough opponents.”

Baldwin announced her campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl’s (D-WI) retirement in an online video Tuesday. If elected, Baldwin would the U.S. Senate’s first openly gay member as well as the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the chamber. When she was elected to the House in 1998, she was the first Wisconsin woman in that chamber as well.

The first hurdle she’ll have to face for the 2012 senatorial election, she said, is name recognition. She said she polls at 52 to 55 percent name recognition in the state, which is a grain of sand when compared to Tommy Thompson, the state’s former governor and a Republican contender for the seat.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/07/wi-senate-candidate-tammy-baldwin-im-not-afraid/

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered health issues not being taught at medical schools, study finds

From Stanford School of Medicine: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2011/september/lgbt.html

BY TRACIE WHITE
September 6, 2011

The average medical student spends just five hours in medical school learning about the health-care needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, despite evidence that these patients often face a unique set of health risks, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine published Sept. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Results of the study — based on a survey sent to deans at medical schools across the United States and Canada — showed that 33.3 percent of medical schools that responded spent zero hours on LGBT health-related content during the students’ clinical training, which usually takes place during the third and fourth year of medical school. Questions about course content ranged from topics such as sexual identity, chronic disease risk within the LGBT community and sex-reassignment surgery.

But while the amount of time spent on training students was found to be extremely low, almost all medical students today — 97 percent — are being taught to ask patients if they “have sex with men, women or both” when obtaining a sexual history — a positive step toward improved care, the researchers said.

“It’s great that a lot of schools are starting to teach these topics,” said senior author Mitchell Lunn, MD, an internal medicine resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School who was a medical student at Stanford when the study began. “But the conversation needs to go deeper. We heard from the deans that a lot of these important LGBT health topics are completely off the radar screens of many medical schools.”

The study was conducted by members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Medical Education Research Group, which was founded at Stanford’s School of Medicine in 2007. The study was undertaken to determine exactly what was being taught in medical schools. The researchers hope their findings will shape future efforts to improve curricula.

A high rate of response from the deans — 85 percent — indicates a growing interest in the topic, researchers said. The deans also self-reported that training in LGBT-related health care is only “fair” at their institutions, and that their schools need to improve by increasing the number of faculty well-trained in these issues along with implementing new curricula that covers the often poorly understood health concerns of the LGBT community.

Continue reading at:  http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2011/september/lgbt.html

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Thom Hartmann: Privatized Prisons…Criminal in a Democracy

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Obama and Jobs: Why I Don’t Believe Him Anymore

From Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/obama-and-jobs-why-i-dont-believe-him-anymore-20110906

By Matt Taibbi
September 6, 2011

I was in an airport in Florida yesterday and was forced into a terrible, Sophie’s Choice-type choice.

I was hours early for a flight and stuck in a relatively small terminal crammed with people. Only one area in the whole wing had empty seats; an unused gate that contained a TV blaring the CNN broadcast of Obama’s Labor Day speech at full volume.

So it was either sit underneath a full-volume broadcast of our fearless president bellowing out his latest hollow promises, or the hellish alternative: retreat to gates full of screaming five year-old children, all of them jacked up on sugar and bawling their eyes out because it was the end of Labor Day weekend and their cruel parents were dragging them home from Disneyworld.

I ended up choosing the screaming children. The one open seat in a nearby gate was next to an extended family of Indian tourists. A four year-old boy from that group wearing a cape and brandishing a plastic light saber thought it was funny when he kept saber-swiping at my knees. But sitting through that was better than having to listen to Obama drape himself in Harry Trumanisms and talk about “shared prosperity.”

Obama hasn’t been a total disaster on labor. Most notably, he stepped up in the Wisconsin mess and at least took sides in that debate, calling the push to end collective bargaining rights an “assault” on unions.

Complete article at:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/obama-and-jobs-why-i-dont-believe-him-anymore-20110906

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Why Are Politicians Running from Economic Reality into Tea Party Fantasy Land?

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/economy/152301/why_are_politicians_running_from_economic_reality_into_tea_party_fantasy_land/

Just three years ago, President Obama was an unapologetic Keynesian. Now, he’s jumped on the deficit hysteria bandwagon.

By Eric Alterman
September 5, 2011

In 2008 America elected as its president not only an African-American but an unapologetic Keynesian. In his inaugural address Barack Obama declared, “The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.”

The stimulus package that followed — while disappointing in many respects (and based on a far rosier view of economic conditions than turned out to be justified) — was nevertheless defended in explicitly Keynesian terminology. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act injected $814 billion into the economy. As Obama described it, the stimulus was “the largest investment in research and development in our history, the largest investment in infrastructure since Dwight Eisenhower, the largest investment in education…in this country in thirty years” and “the largest investment in clean energy in our history.”

Coincidentally, Eisenhower came up again recently. Upon signing the deficit reduction deal at the point of a political gun — the deal in which House Speaker John Boehner bragged that he won “98 percent” of what his Tea Party-dominated majority had wanted — Obama proudly proclaimed that the deal would result in “the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was president.” The Onion proved painfully accurate when it described Obama as bragging of having demanded “tough concessions from Democrats and Democrats alike.” But Illinois Senator Richard Durbin accurately assessed the agreement as “the final interment of John Maynard Keynes. He normally died in 1946, but it appears we are going to put him to his final rest with this agreement.”<

It was Milton Friedman who coined the phrase “We are all Keynesians now,” in 1965, and President Nixon famously repeated it six years later. And while Keynes’s death was frequently reported on, the administration of George W. Bush was still trotting out his arguments to sell its economic program. Lawrence Lindsey, director of the National Economic Council, compared those who opposed the Bush tax cuts to Herbert Hoover when the country found itself in recession during the first year of Bush’s presidency.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/152301/why_are_politicians_running_from_economic_reality_into_tea_party_fantasy_land/

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Stop bashing government workers

From The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/stop-bashing-government-workers/2011/09/04/gIQAwugE4J_story.html

By Katrina vanden Heuvel
Published: September 5, 2011

Two thttp://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/stop-bashing-government-workers/2011/09/04/gIQAwugE4J_story.htmlhousand and eleven has been one of the toughest years for public workers that I can remember. Every month until this past one, the private sector has added jobs, and every month the public sector has lost them. The August employment reportshows that the public sector got hit hard again — losing 17,000 jobs. In states across the country, public workers aren’t just being laid off; they’re being made into economic scapegoats. These workers deserve to be treated fairly any time. But in the wake of Hurricane Irene, as we watched teams of federal, state and local government workers tirelessly saving lives, and on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, they deserve much better.

The last decade has been marked by both peril and possibility, and in all of it there has been no shortage of American heroes. Many, if not the vast majority, worked for the government — as firefighters and police, as teachers and rescue workers. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, men and women proudly wore hats and shirts labeled “FDNY” and “NYPD.” When we wept for our nation, it was the bravery of the first responders that reminded us of our national character. There was a newfound respect for public service and a heartening change in how Americans viewed their government. Fire and police departments, and organizations such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, saw a surge in applicants. We didn’t just want to believe in those workers. We wanted to be them.

In the 10 years since, those and other public workers haven’t been any less heroic or any less essential. But they have been significantly less appreciated, even demonized. “There are a lot of government employees that need to go find a real job,” Rep. Paul Broun (Ga.), a Tea Party favorite, snorted in June. For too many on the right, a government worker isn’t a worker at all.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/stop-bashing-government-workers/2011/09/04/gIQAwugE4J_story.html

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Peace Prizes for War Presidents, Missile Tests on Day of Peace

From Michael Moore: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/peace-prizes-for-war-presidents

By Ann Wright
(Col. Ann Wright (Ret.) resigned from the State Department on March 19, 2003 in protest of the invasion of Iraq)
Sept. 6, 2011

The U.S. missile ‘defense” system is simply not defensive.  It is offensive in every sense of the word and it is increasing tensions throughout the world.

Even on the day where the world is to think about peace— World Peace Day on September 21—you would not know that the day existed from the actions of the United States.

In addition to the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on World Peace Day, in violation of its commitment to disarmament under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States will fire an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California over Hawaii and the Pacific Missile Range tracking facility (PMRF) to crash into the Pacific Ocean near Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.

The purpose of the flight is for the United States to continue to test delivery missiles that would carry nuclear warheads to incinerate its enemies, whoever they may be at the time.

The Marshall Islands are the same islands that the United States blew up in the 1950s and 1960s in the nuclear and hydrogen bomb tests from which Marshall Islanders are still suffering from radiation.

The test of the ICBM and the further expansion of the US missile “defense” system is causing dangerous repercussions around the world, making hotspots even hotter-from China and the Koreas to Turkey, Israel and Iran.

Pacific Missile Range in Hawaii Expanded for the Aegis Missile Test Complex—Testing to Kill or to Defend?

On Kauai, Hawaii, the Hawaii congressional delegation continues to bring home the bacon, the pork barrel projects that include expansion of the Pacific Missile Range Facility.  The latest project is the construction of theAegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex that will provide testing and evaluation of the systems.

Continue reading at:  http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/peace-prizes-for-war-presidents

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Fight the Powerlessness

From Ted Rall: http://www.rall.com/rallblog/2011/09/06/syndicated-column-fight-the-powerlessness

By Ted Rall
September 6th, 2011

The Left’s Case for Boycotting Obama in November 2012

Three years in, it’s obvious to all but the most willfully obtuse liberals and progressives that their 2008 votes for Obama have not paid off.

The president blames obstructionist Republicans for his lack of action on, well, everything. His blame-the-GOP argument would be plausible if not for one thing: Before the Republicans swept the 2010 midterms, Obama had enormous political capital, a supportive media and Democratic control of both houses of Congress.

Had Obama wanted, he could have governed to the left. Far to the left. To the left of FDR.

Remember how scared we were? The economy was in freefall. We lost 600,000 jobs the month he took office. We would have gone along with anything he asked for, including a new WPA program and permanent jobless benefits.

He didn’t ask.

Obama didn’t govern like a liberal because he didn’t want to. He didn’t want to because he’s not a liberal.

Many progressives are angry. They want to send Obama and his fellow phony Democrats a message next November. But they don’t know how to counter the central argument of the two-party trap.

It goes like this:

“Voting for Obama sucks. He’s just going to do more stuff I hate, like bailing out banksters and starting more wars while ignoring the terrible economy. But what else can I do? I can’t vote for some science-denying, Bible-thumping Republican ignoramus who’d be even worse.

“Not voting? That’s almost as bad as voting Republican. With so much at stake, there’s no choice but to hold my nose and vote Democratic.”

This powerful argument has kept liberals in the Democratic fold since 1976, when Jimmy Carter pushed the party to the right with his huge defense build-up.

Fear of a GOP nation drove them to vote for Bill Clinton, even though his major accomplishments—welfare reform, NAFTA and the WTO—were right-wing.

There’s always something at stake. Every election is “one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.” As a result, there hasn’t been a liberal presidential nominee for 40 years. Mainly, this is because liberal voters are willing to vote for right-wing Democrats.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rall.com/rallblog/2011/09/06/syndicated-column-fight-the-powerlessness

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Progressive tax system associated with greater happiness: study

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/06/progressive-taxation-makes-people-happier-study/

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

The more progressive a tax system — where higher tax brackets have higher tax rates — the more likely people are to report feeling they live the “best possible life,” according to a new study comparing 54 nations.

“The more progressive the tax policy is, the happier the citizens are,” said University of Virginia psychologist Shigehiro Oishi, the lead author of the study.

The study analyzed a total of 59,634 people surveyed by the Gallup Organization in 2007 and found those living in the nations with the most progressive taxation evaluated their own quality of life higher than those living in nations with flatter taxation.

That happiness, according to Oishi, was “explained by a greater degree of satisfaction with the public goods, such as housing, education, and public transportation.”

“If the goal of societies is to make citizens happy, tax policy matters,” he said. “Certain policies, like tax progressivity, seem to be more conducive to the happiness of the people.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/06/progressive-taxation-makes-people-happier-study/

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The Peasants Are Revolting

From The New York Times: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/the-peasants-are-revolting/

By Paul Krugman
September 6, 2011

OK, I bagged out on the gala dinner because I’m exhausted from travel (it’s not the flight, it’s the drive to the conference venue), so time for a blog post while I wait for room service.

I see that Atrios has spotted another piece claiming that we’re having all this trouble because those pesky voters won’t support what the wise men know is good for them. I’ve written about this before, with comparable disgust.

Look, I don’t want to wax all sentimental about the genius of the common man. But the fact is that both the origins of this crisis and its perpetuation overwhelmingly reflect the errors of the very people now lamenting the annoyances of democracy that keep them from imposing their preferred policies.

As Atrios says, the euro was very much a top-down, elite-imposed project; and it’s the ECB and the German finance ministry, not the unwashed masses, that have pushed for the austerity-for-all agenda that is pushing the euro system to the edge as we speak.

Continue reading at:  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/the-peasants-are-revolting/

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