Filed Under Incredulous: Trans Woman Kicked Out of Miss Universe Canada Pageant

When this story first started popping into my mail box my first reaction was,”Beauty Pageant?  They still have those?  How fucking retro and reactionary is that?”

You see I forget we live in a world that declared feminism dead and started pushing gender over sex.

I try to ignore the “Mad Men” mania.  I was a kid in the 1950s.  They sucked and women were seriously treated like shit.

Beauty Pageants are sooo 1950s, so retro and so majorly sucky that I thought the only people who took part in them were sick fucks, who pimp-out their toddler in skank drag.

Seriously beauty pageants are these totally piggish events where women are paraded around and graded like pieces of meat.

I thought feminism drove a stake through the heart of this bullshit in the late 1960s.

Oh… I keep forgetting I’m one of those humorless second wave type feminists.

After all the embrace of gender relegitimized sexism…

I’m supposed to view this sort of extremely oppressive bullshit with irony.

View with irony…

May I unpack that one a bit?

STFU that was a rhetorical question.

Telling people they are humorless or just don’t get it is a way of silencing people, usually women and minority groups, who have legitimate critiques of the entire endeavor, in this case beauty pageants, but beauty pageants are only a subset of process of objectification.

The entire beauty and fashion industry is oppressive.  From the peddling of anorexia to beauty(sic) treatments and clothes that only the wealthy can afford.

When man is used as a synonym for humanity woman becomes but a subhuman and erased secondary object.  Something to be possessed and never the legitimate agent of her own life.

The modern beauty pageant resembles nothing so much as the prostitute displays in the whorehouses of early Twentieth century Storyville, the red light section of New Orleans.

Women parade like prized beef to be chosen by buyers(judges).

Not a particularly pretty sight.

At least drag beauty pageants added the value of camp in their parodying of this heterosexual institution.

That is far more than one can say about beauty pageants in the early Twenty-first century.  Now they are anachronistic dinosaurs run by aging misogynists like Donald Trump.

Now Planet Transgender was all a buzz about Jenna Talackova, a post-transsexual woman competing in that pig’s (Trump) meat display.  Now they are all in a tizzy that the pig acted like the pig that anyone with firing neurons should have realized he is.

Give me a break.  Did anyone with functioning brain cells actually expect Trump to let her compete?

Do people really think transsexuals competing in the slightly upscale flesh market of beauty pageants is some sign of progress?

Winning a Nobel prize in anything, a Grammy, an Oscar, a Pulitzer, something like that is a million times more important than having a bunch of retro pigs fetishize you for your “beauty”.

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Aggressive atheism : Pat Condell

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Hate Groups Roster Grows Again, From 26 to 32

From Southern Poverty Law Center:

SPLC’s list of anti-LGBT outfits, published earlier this month, has been expanded from 26 to 32.

One previously missing group has been restored (#7 below), and five other organizations – which SPLC inexplicably classifies under “anti-LGBT” but not under “hate” – have been added.

SPLC may not see the five additional outfits as hateful enough to get certified, but the extent of long-term, TV-networked harm that they do every year far exceeds many of the first 27 groups, several of which are relatively small and quiet.  Key among these newest five are:

  •  National Organization for Marriage – Runs customized, multi-million-dollar campaigns against marriage equality nationwide.
  • Liberty Counsel – Files lawsuits to repeal LGBT rights and make America into a Christian theocracy.
  • Concerned Women for America – Opposes open military service, employment non-discrimination, contraception, pornography, more.

Anyone concerned about LGBT human rights – or just their own survival – should keep both lists taped to the refrigerator.

 32 Anti-LGBT Outfits (per SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok, 8 March 2012)

 27 Certified Hate Groups

1.       Abiding Truth Ministries

2.       American Family Association

3.       American Vision

4.       Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

5.       Bethesda Christian Institute

6.       Chalcedon Foundation

7.       Dove World Outreach Center

8.       Faithful Word Baptist Church

9.       Family Research Council

10.   Family Research Institute

11.   H.O.M.E. (Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment)

12.   Illinois Family Institute

13.   Jewish Political Action Committee

14.   Mass Resistance

15.   Mission: America

16.   Parents Action League

17.   Public Advocate of the United States

18.   Save California

19.   Sons of Thundr [sic] / Faith Baptist Church

20.   Tom Brown Ministries

21.   Traditional Values Coalition

22.   Traditional Values Coalition

23.   True Light Pentecost Church

24.   United Families International

25.   Westboro Baptist Church

26.   Windsor Hills Baptist Church

27.   You Can Run But You Cannot Hide

5 Other Notable Anti-LGBT Organizations

28.   Christian Anti-Defamation Commission

29.   Concerned Women for America

30.   Coral Ridge Ministries

31.   Liberty Counsel

32.   National Organization for Marriage

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World’s largest Christian TV channel ‘funds owners’ exorbitant lifestyle’

From The Guardian UK:

Lawsuit brought by family members claims Trinity Broadcasting Network founder and his wife bought their jets with sham loan, Friday 23 March 2012

The world’s largest Christian TV channel, the California-based Trinity Broadcasting Network, has become embroiled in a multimillion dollar financial scandal after members of the family that founded it alleged widespread embezzlement.

The claims – by Brittany Koper, whose grandfather Paul Crouch founded TBN, and by Joseph McVeigh, another family member – describe exorbitant spending on mansions in California, Tennessee and Florida, private jets and even a $100,000-mobile home to house the dogs of Crouch’s flamboyant wife, Janice.

The network, which claims to broadcast in every continent except the Antarctic and has 18,000 affiliates, was set up by Crouch in the 1970s and preaches a so-called “prosperity gospel” which promises material rewards to those who give generously.

Two years ago it declared a net worth of over $800m (£504m) although in recent years it has faced increasing financial problems.

Details of the claims are contained in cases filed with the California courts by McVeigh, who says he was targeted by the network, and 26-year-old Koper, who was fired in September.

According to the lawsuit, reported in a number of US newspapers, Paul Crouch Sr obtained a $50m luxury jet for his personal use through a “sham loan”, while church funds – many of which come from donations during events like its “Praise-a-thons” – paid for the mobile home housing his wife’s dogs.

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Taliban Christian Movieguide Warns ‘The Hunger Games’ Will Lead to an American Hitler, Has ‘Homosexual and Cross-Dressing Implications’

From Right Wing Watch:

by Brian Tashman
on Fri, 03/23/2012

The Religious Right’s go-to movie review group, Movieguide, is not happy with The Hunger Games. Movieguide, a website dedicated to offering “in-depth analyses of current movies from a biblical perspective,” is also politically active. At May Day 2010, for instance, its president Ted Baehr urged conservative Christians to take the societal “mountain of arts and entertainment” and insisted that in order to reverse the “homosexualization of the culture,” politicians who support marriage equality should be tried and punished.

In its review of The Hunger Games, Movieguide wasn’t just upset about the violence in the PG-13 film but also worried about its “homosexual and cross-dressing implications” and characters who act “effeminately.” The group seems to completely miss the movie’s messages about societal oppression and how people can become desensitized to violence, even claiming that the dictatorship at the center of the film is not rebuked “strongly enough”:

Strong but not extremely explicit or very overt humanist worldview with some Romantic elements, plus light moral elements such as protagonist protects her younger sister, some strong elements suggesting opposition to totalitarian dictatorship, and some homosexual and cross-dressing implications where men in a large city wear makeup and gaudy outfits and a minor character acts effeminately; three profanities and five obscenities; very strong violence includes children kill children with knives, swords, bows and arrows, not always shown but with blood implied, girl is burned, youngest child is killed by bow stabbing right through her, adults get into fights and destroy buildings, mutated dogs eat boy, girl beaten against wall, and girls fight and one gets slashed on cheek; no sex scenes but some kissing and kissing on cheek, plus some homosexual cross-dressing where men of large city are in makeup and gaudy outfits; no nudity; drinking and drunkenness; no smoking or drugs, but bug stings girl and she hallucinates for two days; and, dysfunctional family implied as mother has left children and father is not alive, lying, mentor for children is an alcoholic, government plays propaganda, and a dictatorship but it’s implicitly rebuked though not strongly enough.

Movieguide’s David Outten and Tom Snyder go on to maintain that the movie and book trilogy will lead to school shootings. Warning that the movie “rejects” and “neglects America’s Christian heritage,” Outten and Snyder say the film will exacerbate America’s cultural degradation. The popularity of The Hunger Games, they write, could even make “a tyrannical leader like Nero or Hitler” become “a distinct possibility for the land of the free and the home of the brave”:

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Shit, with a review like this I’ll have to see it when it hits Pay Per View.

As a side note I checked the book reviews on Amazon and there appears to be an orchestrated campaign against the books.

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U.S. Intelligence: Looming Water Woes Will Add to Global Instability

From Nation Of Change:

By Renee Schoof
Friday 23 March 2012

Floods and water shortages in the next 30 years will make it hard for many countries to keep up with growing demand for fresh water, particularly in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. intelligence community reported Thursday.

Water problems in the next decade will add to instability in countries that are important to U.S. national security, the report said. Floods and shortages also will make it hard for some countries to grow enough food or produce enough energy, creating risk for global food markets and slowing economic growth.

“I think it’s fair to say the intelligence community’s findings are sobering,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who requested the report last year. “These threats are real and they do raise serious security concerns.”

Clinton, speaking at an event to mark World Water Day, announced a new U.S. Water Partnership, made up of private companies, philanthropy and advocacy groups, academics and government. The group will coordinate efforts to solve water problems and make U.S. expertise more accessible.

“We believe this will help map out our route to a more water-secure world,” Clinton said.

The intelligence assessment, drafted by the Defense Intelligence Agency with contributions from the CIA and other agencies, was aimed at answering how water problems will affect U.S. national security interests. The classified version, finished in October, named specific countries expected to have water problems, but they weren’t identified in the unclassified version. The public version said only that analysts focused on “strategically important countries” along major rivers in the Middle East, Central and South Asia and North Africa.
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Wall Street Confidence Trick: The Interest-Rate Swaps That Are Bankrupting Local Governments

From Truth Out:

By Ellen Brown
Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Far from reducing risk, derivatives increase risk, often with catastrophic results. -Derivatives expert Satyajit Das, Extreme Money (2011).

The “toxic culture of greed” on Wall Street was highlighted again last week, when Greg Smith went public with his resignation from Goldman Sachs in a scathing op-ed published in The New York Times. In other recent eyebrow-raisers, LIBOR rates – the benchmark interest rates involved in interest-rate swaps – were shown to be manipulated by the banks that would have to pay up; and the objectivity of the ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) was called into question, when a 50 percent haircut for creditors was not declared a “default” requiring counterparties to pay on credit-default swaps on Greek sovereign debt.

Interest-rate swaps are less often in the news than credit-default swaps, but they are far more important in terms of revenue, composing fully 82 percent of the derivatives trade. In February, JP Morgan Chase revealed that it had cleared $1.4 billion in revenue on trading interest-rate swaps in 2011, making them one of the bank’s biggest sources of profit. According to the Bank for International Settlements:

“[I]nterest rate swaps are the largest component of the global OTC derivative market. The notional amount outstanding as of June 2009 in OTC interest-rate swaps was $342 trillion, up from $310 trillion in Dec 2007. The gross market value was $13.9 trillion in June 2009, up from $6.2 trillion in Dec 2007.”

For more than a decade, banks and insurance companies convinced local governments, hospitals, universities and other nonprofits that interest-rate swaps would lower interest rates on bonds sold for public projects such as roads, bridges and schools. The swaps were entered into to insure against a rise in interest rates; but instead, interest rates fell to historically low levels. This was not a flood, earthquake or other insurable risk due to environmental unknowns or “acts of God.” It was a deliberate, manipulated move by the Fed, acting to save the banks from their own folly in precipitating the credit crisis of 2008. The banks got in trouble, and the Federal Reserve and federal government rushed in to bail them out, rewarding them for their misdeeds at the expense of the taxpayers.

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New Networked Feminism Just Like the Old Networked Feminism: Organize or Die.

From RH Reality Check:

by Rebecca Sive, The Sive Group, Inc./
March 19, 2012

So, I took February off from blogging to get my book going. That’s my excuse for my silence of the last few weeks (in case anybody missed me!). But what I learned during this month is just what my book is about: “Every day (really, really) is election day.”

And what a glorious month of election days it’s been.

During this past month, millions of my sisters womaned the barricades, wrote articles, carried protest signs, tweeted, posted to Facebook, and otherwise expressed their outrage over the latest attempt to beat back women: the campaign to deny women birth control. Yikes. Just writing those words, “deny birth control,” makes me crazy, which is probably why I couldn’t even begin to write anything cogent. (I, whose very first student internship was at Planned Parenthood.)

But, when I read Tuesday’s Forbes piece about “the new networked feminism, it “touched my last nerve.” Touched it so forcefully I about jumped out of my chair. Consequently, dear readers, here I am, right back at you, squarely between the eyes, I hope.

Yes, Tom Watson’s, the Forbes’ writer’s basic point is a good one: Social media has enabled those of us wont to be politically active to be even more so, seemingly more frequently because social media is faster, cheaper, gets around the block without leaving the comfort of the couch, and, yes, because it’s less hierarchical. And, yes, when each one of us owns her own printing press, and the “printing costs” are negligible, that sure does create an important opportunity to spread one’s views and encourage action supporting them. (Marx was right: Owning the means of production is mighty sweet.)

Continue reading at:

But when I read this quote in the Forbes piece, by one Allison Fine: “(Today) women aren’t waiting to be told what to do or which petition to sign, they’re just doing what we do best: talking and connecting,” I went crazy all over again. I don’t have a clue who Allison Fine is when it comes to political organizing, or politics, or public policy. What her bio says is that she is an expert on social media. Fine. But this fine isn’t nearly fine enough, at least when it comes to the topic of women’s political organizing. In fact, this fine is very un-fine: “Talking and connecting (without being told what petition to sign)” is what’s been happening this last month? Not hardly. Wrong on the facts. Wrong on the message. Wrong on the goal. Wrong, if what you want to do is support your sisters.

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Thousands protest against killing of black teenager in Florida

From World Socialist Web Site:

By Sandy English
23 March 2012

Thousands of protesters rallied in Sanford, Florida, 30 miles north of Orlando, on Thursday to protest the murder of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager, who was gunned down by a neighborhood watch captain on February 26 as he was returning from a convenience store where he bought iced tea and candy.

Thursday’s rally was one of a number of protests and demonstrations that took place across the country in response to the brutal slaying. Also on Thursday, over 1,000 students walked out of Miami Carol City Senior High, the school where Trayvon Martin had attended his freshman and sophomore years.

The youth streamed down NW 27th Avenue, a main thoroughfare, tying up traffic and chanting “Justice for Trayvon.” A protest also took place at a second Miami-area school, Miami Northwestern, several miles south.

The night before, over 1,000 people marched through Manhattan in New York City after a rally addressed by Trayvon’s parents. Similar protests took place in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood and in other cities.

The spontaneous outpouring in response to the execution-style murder of the 17-year-old has triggered concern within the American political establishment, which has responded, on the one hand, with half-measures by Florida authorities meant to dissipate the protests, and, on the other, with attempts by Democratic politicians and media figures like Al Sharpton to channel them into the safe confines of identity politics.

The protests have centered on the parents’ demand for the arrest of the youth’s killer, George Zimmerman. The neighborhood watch captain followed Trayvon, 17, in his SUV and identified him in a local 911 emergency call as “suspicious” on the grounds that he was wearing a hood over his sweatshirt. The 911 operator instructed Zimmerman to stop the pursuit, but he persisted. He apparently provoked an altercation with the young man, much of which was captured on a phone call between Trayvon and his girlfriend in the moments before he was shot dead.

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The Right-Wing Plot to Control Your Health Care

From Alternet:

The war on women is also an effort to permanently give politicians, religious authorities, accountants, and your boss a seat in your doctor’s exam room.

By Sara Robinson
March 21, 2012

Much has been written the past few months about the conservatives’ assault on women’s autonomy: the intrusive battery of new laws designed to forcibly insert the right-wing’s political and religious agenda into the most intimate conversations between women and their doctors.

What’s less well understood is that this same effort is also a full frontal attack on the future of government-paid healthcare, and by larger extension, on Americans’ trust in their public institutions, and our confidence in government’s ability to solve problems the market can’t handle.

As I’ve written recently, busting our trust in democracy is a central goal of the Republican Party as it’s currently configured. Killing our will and ability to provide good healthcare to every American is central to this enterprise: If we get the idea that we can do this much good for this many people through government, we might regain faith in our civic competence to do a whole lot of other things, too. It’s the last thing they want.

So they are, quite simply, out to break the social agreements that would enable such a system to exist at all. And there’s a lot in these “war-on-women” bills that achieves this other goal as well.

Who Gets to Choose?

Americans already support several government-paid healthcare systems. One, Medicare, is a single-payer system on the Canadian model. Another, the VA system, is pure British-style socialized medicine. There are a vast number of other systems as well — child health programs, active-duty military health services, the systems that serve Native American reservations and prisons, and so on. Through these systems, we pay the bills for our seniors, troops, veterans, kids, disabled people, and others to receive healthcare.

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United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Fails to Uphold Women’s Human Rights

From RH Reality Check:

by Alex Garita
March 22, 2012

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meets every year for two weeks to review progress on implementation of the Fourth World Conference on Women’s Beijing Platform for Action adopted in 1995. The theme of this year’s review was “The Empowerment of Rural Women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.” Other resolutions debated by the Commission included “Eliminating Maternal Mortality and Morbidity through the Empowerment of Women” and “Women and Girls and HIV/AIDS”.

This year marked the first time in history that the CSW did not produced “Agreed Conclusions” (the closest they ever came was in 2006 on Violence against Women but an agreement was reached the following week). The most contentious issues, not surprisingly, were related to  women’s access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning, control over their sexuality and protection of their reproductive rights, comprehensive sexuality education, and eliminating harmful practices such as early and forced marriage, including child marriage.

At 1 am on Wednesday, March 14, negotiations among Member States of the United Nations broke down over the refusal by some countries to support actions that would urge governments to provide rural women with essential reproductive health care services and information. On one occasion, a representative even went so far as to state that “sexual and reproductive health has nothing to do with rural women” and that “what they need is economic opportunity and access to clean water.”

Complete article at:

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Looking Down: CEOs Contemplate the Occupy Movement

From Common Dreams:

by Ralph Nader
Published on Friday, March 23, 2012 by Common Dreams

Stetson J. Bradford III met up with his fellow CEO F. Reginald Lawless for a brow-to-brow lunch at the Penthouse Reverie Room high above Wall and Broad Streets in New York. As charter members of the 40-year Corporate Supremes Club, they had serious business to discuss before Thanksgiving weekend in 2011.

The topic numero uno was: Is the Occupy Wall Street movement and its around the country the precursor to the giant peoples upheaval that they and their brethren have feared ever since Wall Street collapsed the American economy in 2008 and sent the bill to the taxpayers?

Over their large whiskey sours prior to consuming their lobster lunch, they shared their innermost thoughts in nearly whispered tones and grave visages:

Bradford: “I’m worried, Reg, that this could be the big one all of us have been dreading. It is always the ruffians and the demagogues who are the vanguard. Remember the sacking of the Bastille?”

Lawless: “I beg to differ, Stet. It is always the middle class that raises the banner of revolt, at least in the past couple of centuries. These people down at Zuccotti Park aren’t relatable to the majority of people, what with their sanitation problems and worsening influx of the homeless and vagrant crowd in their public spaces.”

Bradford: “Maybe so, but look at the daily mass media coverage of these people calling themselves the 99 percent. I’ve never seen anything like the TV and newspaper reports on these encampments everywhere. Also the polls show they have more support for their message against inequality than the Tea Partiers did. Recall what Abraham Lincoln said about what can be done with the ‘public sentiment.’”

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Revealed: what children are being told about abortion

From The Guardian UK:

The Guardian obtains details of anti-abortion campaign talk claiming abortions are linked to a raised risk of breast cancer

, education editor, Friday 23 March 2012

Anti-abortion campaigners in Britain are making controversial claims that abortions are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, in a presentation to children in school which has been obtained by the Guardian.

Pupils were told that abortion can cause infertility and result in the death of the mother, and were shown a video by a Christian campaigner from the US who calls for abortion to be made “unthinkable”.

Conceiving a child after rape is the “ultimate unplanned pregnancy“, but to have an abortion at this stage can be a “second trauma,” children at a secondary school in Cambridgeshire were told.

“For some people who’ve been raped and had the baby, even if they don’t keep it, something positive comes out of that whole rape experience,” pupils aged 14 and 15 were told.

The presentation, by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, also refers to a teenage girl who died after an abortion and a young woman who committed suicide after aborting twins.

Britain’s biggest abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, warned recently that it is facing “a new era” in anti-abortion protest after women were filmed arriving at and leaving its London clinic.

Pro-choice campaigners plan a counter-protest there next week.

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Early Spring: A Not-So-Early Warning

From Huffington Post:

Director of News & Commentary, Union of Concerned Scientists

March used to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. Now it comes in like a lamb and goes out like a mouse. Although the vernal equinox occurred last Tuesday, some parts of the country have been experiencing spring-like, even summer-like, temperatures for several weeks.

In fact, March temperatures have shattered records across the Central and Eastern United States and much of Canada. Nearly 850 U.S. cities and towns notched record highs from March 15 through 22, according to Hamweather. Chicago, which suffered a deadly heat wave in 1995, experienced record highs six days in a row, from March 14 through 19, with temperatures above 80 degrees.

Climate scientists call this phenomenon “spring creep.” For quite some time they’ve been projecting that man-made global warming would make spring arrive earlier than normal, and it is–an average of 10 days compared with just 20 years ago.

So what’s the big deal? After a long winter–mild or not–who wouldn’t welcome an early onset of warmer weather, daffodils and, here in Washington, cherry blossoms? Isn’t that a good thing?

The short answer is no. Before becoming completely intoxicated by spring fever, let’s consider some of the drawbacks. True, it’s not that difficult for people to adjust to spring creep–at least the fortunate ones among us who don’t have allergies. But it’s much more difficult for some plants and animals, and their success or failure could have a major impact on us.

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