Is The Ending of Sex Reassignment Surgery Really the Ultimate Goal of the Transgender Movement?

First the Transgender Borg erased transsexuals by colonizing us under the transgender umbrella.

Then they bastardized the meaning of man and woman.  They did that by decoupling man from adult male and woman from adult female.

The insidious substitution of gender for sex when the two words mean something quite different was part of the right wing religion based war on women and feminism.  I wasn’t all that surprised with the Transgender Community’s embrace of that concept as it was straight out of Virginia Prince’s “How to be a Woman, Though Male”.

Just as the Transgender Borg’s streak of homophobia has deep roots within the heterosexual transvestite community origins of “Transgender”.  The Transgender Community rose to power at a time when AIDS effectively wiped out the gay drag scene.

Its colonization of transsexual came about as straight middle-age male people who had been part of the heterosexual transvestite community came to realize they were actually transsexual.  They may have transitioned but they brought the ideology of the heterosexual transvestite community with them complete with the homophobia and misogyny.

Yesterday in the comments regarding a post I wrote regarding the need for post-transsexual women to support feminism in the present battle against the misogyny of the religious right someone using the alias “Black Swan” tried to pick a fight.  One of the final posts I let through before getting tired of playing with this person had a comment that came off as very transvestite and enchanted with life behind the pink door gendermania.

Contrary to the transgender mantra, for me it was about sex not gender.  The gender part was just coupled with the changing sex part. I sort of consider the gender aspects sort of superficial, perhaps because I was feminine prior to coming out.  Or maybe just androgynous both physically and in mannerisms.  I thought I passed as a boy, lots of other people had a different opinion.

Lets talk about hormones and the physical aspects of changing sex. Take back the fucking discourse from the genderphiles.

Max Wolf Valerio and I are on different ends of the political spectrum and we went in opposite directions when it came to the sex changing process. But we agree on the profound effects of the sex hormones when it came to changing our interior lives as well as our bodies.

Transsexuals who want to talk about the physical get labeled separatists because our being and our reasons for doing what we do are not part of the ideology of transgender.  I’m not fucking gender, nor reifying it.  Gender was already there, it was the uniform society hands out according to people physically being a certain way. The pregnant “man” may be a “gender variant”, but I am not.

I always found the transgender divorcing of actually changing sex from transsexualism to be extremely weird with regards to transsexuals. But, not so weird when looked at as a way for transgender people who do not change sex to piggyback onto social accommodations that have been made for post-transsexual people.

I went through the process in the early 1970s, along with a bunch of girl friends.  We didn’t describe ourselves as actually being women until after we had our sex change operations.  We used to say that those sex change operations made us really women and ended anything we really had in common with queens who didn’t get surgery.  You see prior to getting sex change operations it was sort of hard to know for sure since queens took hormones, had facial surgery and implants just like transsexuals, but they always had other priorities when it came to getting their testicles removed and their penis used for tissue donation.  Or they had a hundred different reasons as to why they thought we were sick, confused or delusional for getting actual sex change operations.

Now there is a lot of stuff about what we were supposedly told by the doctors with regards to how we should live our post-transsexual lives.  Stealth has always been a sort of nebulous concept and most of us lived out lives with varying levels of controlling our histories.   Some wrote books and appeared on TV shows, some had sister best friends forever.  Some didn’t tell their life partners.  Others considered the telling a vital level of trust for that type relationship.

The whole Transgender Umbrella paradigm is of recent origin.  I’ve always found the ideology sketchy at best and horribly oppressive to post-transsexual people.

I find the whole trans vs. cis dialectic rather repulsive.  I don’t embrace the work of Judith Butler because I don’t see what I did as being “gender transgressive”.  Indeed I find this whole business of gender to be rather suspect like using pink ribbons and pink everything to sell women rather shoddy products.  Gender seems to be a repackaging of sexism and sexist stereotypes all wrapped up in flowery pink paper with a big pink ribbon bow.

Just how exactly is this supposed to be empowering?

My first suspicions regarding the Transgender Borg were aroused when they started telling me I shouldn’t call the surgery I had a sex change operation or even sex reassignment surgery but rather “gender reassignment surgery”.  WTF?  The surgery changed boy parts into girl parts and had nothing to do with make-up, clothes or manner of acting.

Then the obfuscation grew ever more layers, many of which made zero sense except as a way of pushing the idea that people with penises and testicles could really be women, or that people with functioning female parts including the ability to bear children could really be men.  Not in the social sense of practicing polite fictions and addressing people by the name and pronouns of their own choosing, but in the sense of phallic women and vaginate men.

I remember about a dozen years back when Norah Vincent wrote a piece in a gay publication where she asked, “WTF?”  Now I think Norah Vincent is a conservative jerk but she was the first to point out the insidious substitution of gender for sex.

I had sort of an “Aha” moment. You see I had heard some in the transgender movement suggest that if one could change their gender without having to change their sex then there would be no need for sex change operations.

First they attacked the idea that sex reassignment surgery really changed a person’s sex.  That was something the Transgender Borg shared in common with radical feminists like Jan Raymond.  They used the same words to describe the genitals of post-transsexual women.

Gradually even the usage of sex reassignment surgery has vanished as the rhetoric defining getting SRS has ratcheted up.  Now those who say  life after SRS is different and that we feel completely different, are labeled as elitists and genital surgery essentialists. Transgender Activist Monica Roberts not only calls our vaginas “inverted penises” and “vanilla scented coochies” but implies that post-transsexuals are really racists.  Something I find odd given that there are post-transsexual women of all races.

“The surgery makes us real.” At the Center in the 1970s we discussed this prior to going under the knife.  It was a way of acknowledging the finality of surgery and readiness to commit to living the rest of our lives as women.  We knew we were leaving the world of queens behind.

That doesn’t work in the Transgender Ideology as the difference the surgery makes is supposed to be merely cosmetic and not change your being transgender.  In the ideology of transgender you are always on the trans side of the divide and will never, can never move to the “cis” side.  To me that sounds like something dictated by Jan Raymond or Mr Frothy Mix Santorum.

To me there appears to be a not too subtle tendency on the part of the Transgender Borg to denigrate transsexuals, sex reassignment surgery, and replace the whole concept of transsexualism and changing of sex with the primacy of social gender presentation.

I am extremely concerned with the movement to end sterilization as part of sex reassignment.

It definitely appears to be an orchestrated attempt to end sex reassignment surgery and replace it with word games and paper fictions.  This fits in with the assault on contraception by making sterilization suspect.

It is part of something unconsciously misogynistic to replace sex with gender.

Already I have heard transgender activists describe women who wear clothes such as jeans, t-shirts, running shoes, and flannel shirts as being transgender or as transgressing gender.

This is a real nightmare for me something straight out of a Margaret Atwood novel like “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

Gender is just the misogyny of sex roles in different drag with a new set of psychobabble jargon.

This latest pile of crap is kind of the final straw.

Men have penises, women have vaginas.  Men do not carry babies and women cannot impregnate.

I believe that sex reassignment surgery should involve sterilization.

I am for requiring sterilization as part of sex reassignment surgery.  After all women don’t have testicles and men don’t have ovaries although men might not have testicles and women might not have ovaries.

Ending sterilization as part of sex reassignment surgery seems to be the first major step in ending SRS.

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/most-european-countries-force-sterilization-transgender-people-map

17 European Countries Force Transgender Sterilization

By Nicole Pasulka
Thu Feb. 16, 2012

People rightly flipped out across the internet last month over news that the Swedish parliament would not be repealing a barbaric law that forces sterilization on trans people seeking to change their gender on legal documents. While it’s despicable that Swedish politicians are opposing the law change, much of the outrage, no doubt, occurred because people previously didn’t realize that a forced sterilization law existed in Sweden.

Considering how shocking people find Sweden’s law, it’s worth pointing out the country is 1 of 17 in Europe (shown in red below) that require trans people to have a surgical procedure that results in sterilization before legal gender change is made to their identification ID. The law is currently under review in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Portugal, and in Ireland a name change (which acknowledged gender change) was granted for one woman after a legal challenge that went to the high courts, but no laws exist on the matter.

According to a report on transgender rights (PDF) in the EU by the Directorate-General for Internal Politics, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe says, “These practices run counter to the principle of respect for the physical integrity of the person, in particular because transgender people appear to be the only group in Europe subject to legally prescribed, state enforced sterilization.” For all the instances that require ID—health insurance, travel, driver’s license, university enrollment, jobs—when name and gender on a state-issued ID don’t match up with the gender a person presents, that person is subject to debilitating challenges and discrimination. It also leaves anyone who doesn’t identify and present as specifically male or female out of the conversation completely.

Surprised? Well, the discrimination doesn’t stop in Europe. On February 3, the CBC reported on an amendment to Canada’s Identity Screening Regulation stating that airlines should not transport a passenger if he or she “does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents.” Live as a woman but have an “M” on your passport? You might not be able to get on a plane in Canada, even with an accurate photo ID.

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/most-european-countries-force-sterilization-transgender-people-map

How Violence Protects the State

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/17-1

‘Violence is the modus operandi of the State. To build a free society, we will have to use different means.’

by Stephanie Van Hook
Published on Friday, February 17, 2012 by Common Dreams

On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, he spoke passionately in a sermon at Riverside Church in New York about the war in Vietnam. In this gripping speech about the hypocrisy of bringing democracy through napalm and the audacity of fostering a brotherhood through war and killing, he made a daring confession: “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today —my own government.”

The most significant social movement in the US in the coming months will be the Occupy movement, as it returns in some numbers to the street. As the Occupy movement grows more polarized between strategies in light of its upcoming spring activities, it might do well to reflect on the logic of Dr. King’s brave statement. Contrary to what Peter Gelderloos and others have claimed, it is violence and the stasis of a dysfunctional system of oppression that protects the state, not nonviolence. How does violence protect the state? Do a few general internet searches on the Occupy movement in images to see how that movement is visually narrated (not to mention how it feels to see the portrayed reduction of a promising national movement into a series of police confrontations).

Examining these images with some detachment, we might wonder how this civil war with police began. This examination might also give us some clues about the general population’s confusion about “what Occupy wants,” and the US citizenry’s preference for political candidates who do not create violence on the streets—even if those elected officials ultimately maintain systems of greater violence within our society and between it and other nations. If the choice is between unruly demonstrations and elections, Occupy risks becoming a reason to turn to politics as usual.

Paradoxically, while the public will be fascinated by police/Occupy confrontations, and while the media will mock activists’ lack of moral character and strength for accepting violence as an effective strategy, it will only make the way safer and clearer for greater state violence to be perpetrated in the name of national security. Who knows, we may be pulled into a new war with Iran in the coming year —what better way to stifle a movement: delegitimize it (through violence), and then unite us against a common enemy!

Violence in opposition to the State relieves the State and the citizenry of any guilt for a brutal response to all protesters—and it refocuses from the nominal issue to the issue of violence by protesters. Thus any violence by protesters serves the state well (just ask anyone employed by the government who has hired an agent provocateur). It is a weapon of mass distraction. Stop worrying about the uptick in home foreclosures, the dead being shipped back from Afghanistan, and the new increases in the Pentagon’s proposed budget—look at the violent window-breakers from Occupy who threaten us all!

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/17-1

Pat Buchanan’s Long History Of Homophobia, Racism, Bigotry and Nazi Sympathizing

So MSNBC finally dumped their resident racist bigot and Nazi sympathizer

From The New Civil Rights Movement:   http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/msnbcs-pat-buchanans-long-history-of-homophobia-racism-and-bigory/politics/2011/07/29/24585

by David Badash
on July 29, 2011

Pat Buchanan has a long, long history of homophobia, anti-semitism, Holocaust diminution, racism, and bigotry, yet continues to play a role on the conservative stage — and on progressive, liberal television. Buchanan’s latest column, in which he says Norway shooter and mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik “may be right,” has fueled outrage from all corners of the political spectrum.

Buchanan is a paleoconservative MSNBC analyst whose failed 1992 Republican presidential campaign against incumbent George H. W. Bush led to a keynote and historic culture war speech at the GOP convention, in which he outlined “a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America.”

After presidential candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 speech on race, Buchanan offered this:

“America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.”

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/msnbcs-pat-buchanans-long-history-of-homophobia-racism-and-bigory/politics/2011/07/29/24585

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Moochers Against Welfare

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/opinion/krugman-moochers-against-welfare.html?_r=1

By
Published: February 16, 2012

First, Atlas shrugged. Then he scratched his head in puzzlement.

Modern Republicans are very, very conservative; you might even (if you were Mitt Romney) say, severely conservative. Political scientists who use Congressional votes to measure such things find that the current G.O.P. majority is the most conservative since 1879, which is as far back as their estimates go.

And what these severe conservatives hate, above all, is reliance on government programs. Rick Santorum declares that President Obama is getting America hooked on “the narcotic of dependency.” Mr. Romney warns that government programs “foster passivity and sloth.” Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, requires that staffers read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” in which heroic capitalists struggle against the “moochers” trying to steal their totally deserved wealth, a struggle the heroes win by withdrawing their productive effort and giving interminable speeches.

Many readers of The Times were, therefore, surprised to learn, from an excellent article published last weekend, that the regions of America most hooked on Mr. Santorum’s narcotic — the regions in which government programs account for the largest share of personal income — are precisely the regions electing those severe conservatives. Wasn’t Red America supposed to be the land of traditional values, where people don’t eat Thai food and don’t rely on handouts?

The article made its case with maps showing the distribution of dependency, but you get the same story from a more formal comparison. Aaron Carroll of Indiana University tells us that in 2010, residents of the 10 states Gallup ranks as “most conservative” received 21.2 percent of their income in government transfers, while the number for the 10 most liberal states was only 17.1 percent.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/opinion/krugman-moochers-against-welfare.html?_r=1

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No Euro, No Cry: Swedish krona vs cash chaos

Rachel Maddow Criticizes Gov. Chris Christie For Wanting To Put Civil Rights Bill Up For Popular Vote

From Huffington Post:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/17/rachel-maddow-chris-christie-same-sex-marriage-bill_n_1284381.html

Posted: 2/17/12

Rachel Maddow laid into Republican Gov. Chris Christie on her MSNBC show Thursday night for what she called his “mindblowingly bad” argument for putting a bill legalizing same-sex marriage up for a popular vote.

The New Jersey Assembly approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday. The bill now heads to Christie’s desk to get signed into law. Christie is expected to veto the bill and put it on the ballot for New Jersey voters to decide this fall. According to the Associated Press, “Christie and most state Republican lawmakers want gay marriage put to a popular vote. Democrats say gay marriage is a civil right protected by the Constitution and not subject to referendum.”

Maddow seemed taken aback by Christie’s argument defending his desire to put this particular bill up for a popular vote.

Christie said, “the fact of the matter is that I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”

“Seriously?” Maddow asked with a skeptical look on her face. “Yeah, some people would have been happy to put African American civil rights up for a popular vote in the South, but the people who would have been happy with that were not the people who were sitting in at the lunch counter, if you know what I mean.”

Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/17/rachel-maddow-chris-christie-same-sex-marriage-bill_n_1284381.html

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Another March to War?

From Rolling Stone:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/another-march-to-war-20120217

By Matt Taibbi
February 17, 2012

As a journalist, there’s a buzz you can detect once the normal restraints in your business have been loosened, a smell of fresh chum in the waters, urging us down the road to war. Many years removed from the Iraq disaster, that smell is back, this time with Iran.

You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms. CNN’s house blockhead, the Goldman-trained ex-finance professional Erin Burnett, came out with a doozie of a broadcast yesterday, a Rumsfeldian jeremiad against the Iranian threat would have fit beautifully in the Saddam’s-sending-drones-at-New-York halcyon days of late 2002. Here’s how the excellent Glenn Greenwald described Burnett’s rant:

It’s the sort of thing you would produce if you set out to create a mean-spirited parody of mindless, war-hungry, fear-mongering media stars, but you wouldn’t dare go this far because you’d want the parody to have a feel of realism to it, and this would be way too extreme to be believable. She really hauled it all out: WMDs! Terrorist sleeper cells in the U.S. controlled by Tehran! Iran’s long-range nuclear missiles reaching our homeland!!!! She almost made the anti-Muslim war-mongering fanatic she brought on to interview, Rep. Peter King, appear sober and reasonable by comparison.

Like Greenwald, I was particularly struck by Burnett’s freak-out about Iran’s nuclear program, about which she said, “No one buys Iran’s claim that [it is] for peaceful purposes.” She then cited remarks by Director of Intelligence James Clapper, which, she said, “drove that message home.” But then she ran a clip with Clapper’s quote, which read as follows:

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/another-march-to-war-20120217

Aggressive Acts by Iran Signal Pressure on Its Leadership

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/world/middleeast/frantic-actions-hint-at-pressure-on-iran-leaders.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

By and
Published: February 15, 2012

WASHINGTON — A string of aggressive gestures by Iran this week — assassination attempts on Israelis living abroad that were attributed to Tehran, renewed posturing over its nuclear program and fresh threats of economic retaliation — suggest that Iranian leaders are responding frantically, and with increasing unpredictability, to the tightening of sanctions by the West.

As investigators unearthed new evidence implicating Iran in the attacks this week in Thailand, India and Georgia, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran announced Wednesday what he said was his country’s latest nuclear advance, and Iran’s Oil Ministry threatened to pre-empt a European oil embargo by cutting off sales to six countries there.

“These are all facets of the same message,” said Muhammad Sahimi, an analyst and professor at the University of Southern California. “Iran is saying, ‘If you hit us, we will hit back, and we are not going to sacrifice our nuclear program.’ ”

The flurry of Iranian actions and statements comes as Western governments are watching closely for signs of Iran’s reaction to the tougher sanctions they have imposed. But the intentions of Iran’s divided leadership are notoriously difficult to divine, and even as Mr. Ahmadinejad declared defiantly that “the era of bullying nations has passed,” another Iranian official said Tehran was ready for new talks on the nuclear issue.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, confirmed on Wednesday that she had received a reply from a top Iranian official responding to her invitation to negotiations over the future of its nuclear program. Iran’s Al Alam television said the country had offered to “hold new talks over its nuclear program in a constructive way.”

American officials reacted with caution to the reported offer to talk and said they saw little substance in either the oil threat or Mr. Ahmadinejad’s announcement that Iran had new centrifuges able to enrich uranium more quickly. The Iranian president was shown on live television overseeing the loading of what was described as an Iranian-made fuel rod into a research reactor and declaring that “the arrogant powers cannot monopolize nuclear technology. They tried to prevent us by issuing sanctions and resolutions but failed.”

Continue reading at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/world/middleeast/frantic-actions-hint-at-pressure-on-iran-leaders.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

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The silicone breast implant scandal

One of the happiest days of my life was when I finally got my implants taken out after some thirty years of problems with them.  I love my implant free boobies.

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/15/silicone-breast-implant-scandal-naomi-wolf

The US and UK authorities must think women are either stupid or worthless to permit this shameful profiting from their suffering

Naomi Wolf
guardian.co.uk
, Wednesday 15 February 2012

I have heard, in my life, many implausible statements from government officials, but never have I heard or seen anything quite as egregious as what I witnessed as a guest on the BBC’s Newsnight program on 7 February 2012. Twenty-five frightened and suffering women had agreed to appear in the studio to ask questions of Anne Milton, a health minister for the UK coalition government. They had all been implanted with PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse) breast implants, which had been withdrawn from the EU market in 2010, after revelations of high rupture rates and confirmation that substandard – believe it or not, industrial – grade silicone had been used.

In December of 2011, French authorities advised that these PIP implants be removed; other countries’ health authorities took similar action. Britain was not one of them. French authorities, according to the World Health Organization global advisory, “also found that the gel containing non-approved silicone was an irritant to tissue, and when leaking could give rise to inflammation and pain.”

When I was researching The Beauty Myth, in 1991, I was reading British medical journals that informed me about the terrible health problems caused by silicone breast implants. I was shocked to see that even as women’s magazines were promoting the hell out of them, the medical journals – which women would not see – were offering doctors insurance on implants because the rate of rupture was 30-70%. The side-effects were right there in the journals: up to 70% of implants would harden “like golf balls” and rupture, sending silicone into parts of women’s bodies, with unknown consequences.

Similar warnings paid off in the US: silicone implants were banned in 1992. But Britain never followed suit. Now, though, British women like the ones in the Newsnight studio are facing the nightmare that they were never informed of the dangers of silicone by any government body, even as private, Harley Street doctors made fortunes continuing to push implants. And now, with the PIP scare, the NHS is faced with providing millions of pounds’ worth of care to remove the implants and give women MRI scans to check for ruptures. It is in this context that I was astonished to hear the health minister say these words to a roomful of scared women:

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/15/silicone-breast-implant-scandal-naomi-wolf

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Nancy Pelosi Supports 2012 Democratic Party Platform Including Marriage Equality

From Metro Weekly: http://metroweekly.com/poliglot/2012/02/house-minority-leader-nancy-pe.html

Posted by Chris Geidner |
February 15, 2012

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports the 2012 Democratic Party platform including, for the first time, language in full support of marriage equality, her spokesman told Metro Weekly on Tuesday evening, Feb. 14.

The former House speaker’s support for the move comes in response to Freedom to Marry’s announcement on Feb. 13 that it was launching a campaign to ask the Democrats, as the group put it, to “Say I Do” to including such a marriage equality plank in the party’s platform.

The platform, a detailed statement of the party’s positions that will be finalized at the Democratic National Convention this September, has never included language in support of the right of same-sex couples to marry. And the leader of the party, President Obama, opposed marriage equality in the 2008 campaign. He said in December 2010 that his position on marriage equality was “evolving” but that he still “struggle[s]” with it. His press secretary, Jay Carney, said this past week of Obama’s position, “You know his position, where it stands now, on the issue of same-sex marriage, so I really don’t have much to add on that.”

Freedom to Marry’s proposed platform plank would aggressively support marriage equality. The Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Stonewall Democrats all support the inclusion of a marriage equality plank, with leaders of NGLTF and Stonewall Democrats endorsing the specific Freedom to Marry language.

The proposed plank states: “We support the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation, with equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law, including the freedom to marry. Government has no business putting barriers in the path of people seeking to care for their family members, particularly in challenging economic times. We support the Respect for Marriage Act and the overturning of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and oppose discriminatory constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny the freedom to marry to loving and committed same-sex couples.”

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill tells Metro Weekly, “Leader Pelosi supports this language.”

Continue reading at:  http://metroweekly.com/poliglot/2012/02/house-minority-leader-nancy-pe.html

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LAST-MINUTE WIN: MARYLAND HOUSE PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY

From The Advocate:    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2012/02/17/LAST_MINUTE_WIN_MARYLAND_HOUSE_PASSES_MARRIAGE/

By Lucas Grindley and Andrew Harmon
February 17, 2012

What a week for marriage equality.

Following signing of the law in Washington Monday, then a decisive vote for same-sex marriage in the New Jersey legislature Thursday, lawmakers in the Maryland House voted today in favor of marriage equality in their state for the first time.

Nearly a year ago, the House voted to shelve a marriage bill by sending the legislation back to committee — this after it became clear that supporters simply did not have enough votes. But the Senate passed the bill and is expected to do so again this year. Gov. Martin O’Malley has pushed for the law and pledged to sign it. “Today, the House of Delegates voted for human dignity,” he said in a statement after the vote.

The Maryland House of Delegates needed 71 votes to pass the bill. Whether the chamber had the requisite votes was a matter of much speculation just hours before the vote. Pro-marriage equality lawmakers Thursday had to delay consideration of the legislation until today, when it passed 72 to 67 as cheers erupted from the gallery and on the floor.

Del. Anne Kaiser, a lesbian, said during debate of the bill that her parents had hoped she “finds someone to love.” Then, “I have, and I wish to be married.” Del. Maggie McIntosh, who come out as a lesbian while serving in the House, said “We seem to be on a roll.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2012/02/17/LAST_MINUTE_WIN_MARYLAND_HOUSE_PASSES_MARRIAGE/

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Is cyberwar hype fuelling a cybersecurity-industrial complex?

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Why Big Oil May Be Afraid of Bicycles

From Tree Hugger:  http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/why-big-oil-may-be-afraid-bicycles.html?campaign=daily_nl

April Streeter
February 15, 2012

By now you must have read somewhere in the blogosphere that the Transportation Bill (officially The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, or H.R. 7) being shepherded by chair of the House Transportation Committee John Mica (R-FL), is considered a distaster for active transportation. The bill has been called a variety of bad names, including “horrible” by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, “troubling” by Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, and “a bill only Big Oil could love,” by Streetsblog.

Bob Mionske, the bicycle lawyer who writes frequently on cycling policy and legislation, details exactly why H.R. 7 is so horrible for cyclists, as well as for pedestrians and transit users.

As Mionske puts it on his blog, H.R. 7:
– Reverses 20 years of bicycle and pedestrian-friendly federal transportation policy.
– Elminates dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements program (funding cycling and walking projects).
– Allows states to build bridges without safe access for cyclists and pedestrians, as previously required.
– Eliminates Bicycle and Pedestrian and Safe Routes to Schools coordinators in state transportation departments.

Continue reading at:  http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/why-big-oil-may-be-afraid-bicycles.html?campaign=daily_nl

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The Hypocrisy And Denial Of The Catholic Church

From Addicting Info:  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/02/15/the-hypocrisy-and-denial-of-the-catholic-church/

By
February 15, 2012

On February 14th the New York Times published an editorial entitled “His Eminence in Denial” decrying retired Cardinal Edward Egan’s revocation of his apology for the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse cover-ups. Cardinal Egan simply stated, “I should never have done that.” Juxtapose that against the Vatican’s global conference on sexual abuse held last week, and it’s clear that sexual abuse weighs heavy on the Catholic Church. Yet the Catholic Church seemed surprised when people were outraged about the Church’s furious anger about the infringement upon their religious liberty with the Obama Administration’s contraception decision.

The Catholic Church, infuriated about the contraception decision, for decades demonstrated little outrage about sexual abuse. Religious liberty, to be sure, holds center stage in the discussion of rights and liberties. Morally, sexual abuse scandals expose the larger systemic, hierarchical moral bankruptcy of the Catholic Church leadership. Individual Catholic parishioners are not to be blamed for this, but rather the cloak-and-dagger approach supported by the institutional Church for so long.

Cardinal William Levada leads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office charged with enforcing church law, which Pope Benedict XVI held before he became pope in 2005. More than 4000 cases have been reported to his office in the past decade. Cardinal Levada states that those accused of sexual abuse “are a tiny minority of an otherwise faithful, committed clergy.” He continued to say that the Church has an “obligation to cooperate with the requirements of civil law.”

The question at hand is when did it suddenly become an obligation? Why wasn’t cooperation with civil law an obligation before?

Though the Catholic Church has and will have a moral responsibility to report such horrible atrocities to civil law, they have not had to report it because their privilege in the larger society protected them. Though not always holding sway in the larger public eye, they did have Christian privilege. Privilege slowly erodes because of pluralism, globalism, and postmodern hostility toward hierarchy.

Continue reading at:  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/02/15/the-hypocrisy-and-denial-of-the-catholic-church/

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Virginia House getting all up in your vagina

From Daily Kos:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/15/1064997/-Virginia-House-getting-all-up-in-your-vagina

Scott Wooledge
Wed Feb 15, 2012

The headline is not hyperbole.The freedom and liberty loving party is requiring the state to take liberty with Virginia women’s vaginas. Women will not have the freedom to refuse.

The Virginia House passed a bill 63-36 requiring that women who wish to have an abortion must submit to a “transvaginal ultrasound.”

The ultrasound legislation would constitute an unprecedented government mandate to insert vaginal ultrasonic probes into women as part of a state-ordered effort to dissuade them from terminating pregnancies, legislative opponents noted.”We’re talking about inside a woman’s body,” Del. Charnielle Herring, a Democrat, said in an emotional floor speech. “This is the first time, if we pass this bill, that we will be dictating a medical procedure to a physician.”

The conservative Family Foundation hailed the ultrasound measure as an “update” to the state’s existing informed consent laws “with the most advanced medical technology available.”

Continue reading at:   http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/15/1064997/-Virginia-House-getting-all-up-in-your-vagina

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Will women report miscarriages to police soon?

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Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/154144/why_patriarchal_men_are_utterly_petrified_of_birth_control_–_and_why_we%27ll_still_be_fighting_about_it_100_years_from_now/

Conservative bishops and Congressmen are fighting a rear-guard action against one of the most revolutionary changes in human history.

By Sara Robinson
February 15, 2012

What’s happening in Congress this week, as Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) bars any women from testifying at his so-called “religious freedom” hearings, is so familiar and expected that it hardly counts as news. The only thing surprising about it is the year: didn’t we all honestly think that by 2012, contraception would be a non-issue, and Congress wouldn’t make the mistake of leaving women out of conversations like this one?

Yes, we did. And the fact that we were wrong about that points to a deeper trend at work, one that needs a bit of long-term historical context put around it so we can really understand what’s going on. Let me explain.

When people look back on the 20th century from the vantage point of 500 years on, they will remember the 1900s for three big things.

One was the integrated circuit, and (more importantly) the Internet and the information revolution that it made possible. When our descendants look back, they’re likely to see this as an all-levels, all-sectors disruption on the scale of the printing press — but even more all-encompassing. (Google “the Singularity” for scenarios on just how dramatic this might be.)

The second was the moon landing, a first-time-ever milestone in human history that our galaxy-trotting grandkids five centuries on may well view about the same way we see Magellan’s first daring circumnavigation of the globe.

But the third one is the silent one, the one that I’ve never seen come up on anybody’s list of Innovations That Changed The World, but matters perhaps more deeply than any of the more obvious things that usually come to mind. And that’s the mass availability of nearly 100% effective contraception. Far from being a mere 500-year event, we may have to go back to the invention of the wheel or the discovery of fire to find something that’s so completely disruptive to the way humans have lived for the entire duration of our remembered history.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/154144/why_patriarchal_men_are_utterly_petrified_of_birth_control_–_and_why_we%27ll_still_be_fighting_about_it_100_years_from_now/

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The Big Lie About Plan B – What You Really Should Be Telling Your Friends

From Truth Out:  http://www.truthout.org/big-lie-about-plan-b-what-you-really-should-be-telling-your-friends/1329325045

by: Valerie Tarico
Wednesday 15 February 2012

It’s time, once and for all, to clear up the confusion about Plan B on progressive message boards, Facebook pages, forums and comment threads. Tweet this: Plan B doesn’t cause abortion. It stops or delays ovulation. No egg, no fertilization, no pregnancy – no abortion. It’s that simple.

In reality, Plan B prevents abortions because it reduces the fundamental cause of abortions—unwanted pregnancy.  About 40% of unintended pregnancies end in abortion. When used within a 72 hour window after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, Plan B prevents 70% of the accidental pregnancies that would have occurred. One U.S. study estimated that emergency contraception prevented 51,000 abortions in a single year.  Since half of fertilized eggs spontaneously abort under normal circumstances, those who think fertilized eggs are persons should also credit emergency contraception with preventing at minimum an additional 64,000 fertilized-egg suicides in that same year.

If your friends want more than a tweet worth of accurate information, there are three kinds of emergency contraception (EC) widely available in the United States:

  1. Pills that contain a progestin, levonorgestrel—sold as Plan B or under the trade name Next Choice.  Plan B or Next Choice should be taken as soon as possible and within 72 hours of unprotected sex and is 70% effective in preventing pregnancy.
  2. Pills that contain ulipristal acitate –sold under the brand name Ella. Ella has a longer window of effectiveness and can prevent ovulation if taken within five days after unprotected sex.  It is 85% effective in reducing pregnancy.
  3. A copper IUD  sold under the name Paragard.  Inserted within five days of unprotected sex, a copper IUD is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, and it then provides ongoing hormone-free contraception.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthout.org/big-lie-about-plan-b-what-you-really-should-be-telling-your-friends/1329325045

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