when i say it, i still mean it…

Succinct and to the point.

From Inchoaterica: http://inchoaterica.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/when-i-say-it-i-still-mean-it/

by inchoaterica

i want us all to be strong and free.
this means no cis policing of our identities
and as importantly, no trans/genderqueer-on-trans/genderqueer policing of our identities, and also no more minimizing other trans/genderqueer people for being different from you, no matter what the provided “excuse” is.

Go read the rest of this and consider printing it out:  http://inchoaterica.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/when-i-say-it-i-still-mean-it/

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Learn to Respect Others

Transgender: blah,blah, blah.

Transsexual: blah, blah, blah.

None of which means shit to a tree.

For the record I used to be transsexual and I had a sex change operation.  When I came out you could be arrested across much of the nation for wearing the clothes of the opposite sex in public.

I get to talk about my own life using my own words and some politically correct dogmatic asshole doesn’t get to correct my language with proper current terms.

The reality is I hate PC Stalinists as much as I hate Reich Wing Nazi bigots and self proclaimed TS/TG hating “radical feminists”

The war between the Transgender Borg and the group someone called the “Sisters of Transsexual Purity” has come to resemble the never ending wars of “Game of Thrones”.  I’ve read the first four books nearly 5,000 pages so far and no winner.

I’ve listened to the dogmatic bullshit of both sides and it makes me want to slap both sides around for their shear utter stupid waste of time and energy.

I can’t believe people have so little connection to the real world that they can continue fighting to deny each other their right to use the words they wish to define themselves.

I’m actually one of the pioneers of the early days of the transsexual and transgender movements.  I’m an inconvenient irritant because I was actually there and actually had a sex change operation at a time which is considered “The Dark Ages” when it was supposedly impossible for anyone a “fembot” white middle class person who was young strictly heterosexual to get “gender confirmation surgery” (sic).

I get ignored by the PC identify as transgender or else folks because I won’t embrace this “identity” that has arisen in the last 20 years or so and I get vilified by the “sisters of transsexual purity” because I don’t much give a shit about discovering scientific reasons as to why I’m transsexual.

Oh in case you haven’t noticed I think things like Earth Day are more important than the perpetual wars.

Having been born with transsexualism has made my life far more interesting than it would have been otherwise.  In ways both wonderful and really fucking painful.   If some scientist had a eureka moment and found the definitive “cause”  what would that change?  Would people have been less mean to me when I was a kid?  Would the Nazis on the police forces have actually treated me with respect when they never treated any of my non-TS friends much better and certainly treated my black and brown friends much worse?

I got sex reassignment surgery for myself.  I got it because I needed to have it to feel whole within this body.  The moment I started taking hormones was the moment I started to feel more comfortable within my own skin.  Christan Williams can play word games until the cows come home, reciting all the gender claptrap she wishes and you know what?  If that works for her, that’s just great.  Still doesn’t give her the right to shove what I see as a bunch of psychobabble bullshit on me.

Christan is like one of these religious types who is so convinced of her faith she feels compelled to proselytize, share the truth.  Won’t take, “Sorry but I’m an atheist.” as a hint that someone like me doesn’t give a shit about all her research.

I don’t have to rely on a bunch of obscure clipping to remember what the late 1960s and 1970s were like, my friends and I lived through those rocking good times.

Why I even remember when “Gender Studies” was called “Women’s Studies”.

Transsexualism was never the only thing about me.  It was something I took hormones and had an operation to treat.  It wasn’t a political cause.

You want political causes.  I’ve got political causes up the yin/yang. I’m a left wing old hippie who embraces left wing causes.

So why don’t I embrace “transgender”?

Well for one thing I’m not transgender.  It came along too late and sounds really reactionary and vaguely anti-feminist.  I’m just not all that into gender although some folks are.

I didn’t have a sex change operation because of gender.  I had it to feel at home in my own body.

The Christan Williams of the world are obnoxious trip pushers who bear every bit as much responsibility for the transwars as the sisters of transsexual purity.

Paawwque… I spit on both your houses and curse you both.

Yesterday I read a quote from Audre Lorde, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Being post-transsexual is only one small issue in my life.  Call it intersectionality of oppressions or what ever the current academic buzz phrase is but I have a fuck of a lot more issues and political concerns than fighting a 15 year old transwar.

So do most Trans-Activists. From Riki Wilchins onward so many have become seriously involved in other issues as well.  They have made the connections, had the eureka moments when they realized, hey maybe being trans is only one of the reason this giant corporation that employs slave labor in China and is destroying the rain forest is fucking with me.

Or the aha moment when you realize that being out and trans means the cops treat you the same way they treat other minorities.

How hard is it to respect the labels others choose.  If some one says they are gender queer, transgender or transsexual just fucking accept their right to decide upon how to describe themselves.  Stop acting like the goddamned Christo-Fascist trip pushers.

You don’t have the right to cram your trip down the throats of other sisters and brothers so STFU and move on to important issues.

Edward Abbey Speech

Doc. Starvis, Bonnie Abzug, Seldom Seen, and Hayduke Live…  Earth First!

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Transsexual Is Argentina’s “Woman of the Year”

From The Latin American Herald Tribune:  http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=348010&CategoryId=14093

April 21, 2012

BUENOS AIRES – A transsexual who recently prevailed in a 10-year-long court battle to receive a new identity document recognizing her as a woman has been honored by lawmakers as Argentina’s “Woman of the Year.”

“I am what I am. The right of one person is the right of all,” Marcela Romero said during Tuesday night’s event in the Argentine Congress.

The honor was conferred by the lower house’s committee on women and the family.

Present for the ceremony along with lawmakers were Alejandro Freyre and Jose Maria Di Bello, who plan to wed here next week in Latin America’s first legally recognized same-sex marriage.

Romero urged legislators to quickly approve a bill ensuring civil rights for transsexuals and to scrap laws that “criminalize” transvestites.

“I don’t know democracy,” she told Todo Noticias television, recounting her experiences with discrimination. “I would have liked, for example, to go on studying, but I was rejected by the educational system when I assumed the identity of a woman.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=348010&CategoryId=14093

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Communities to rally for slain transgender woman

From The Chicago Phoenix: http://chicagophoenix.com/2012/04/20/communities-to-rally-for-slain-transgender-woman/

by Brynn Cassie West
April 20, 2012

A social worker at Taskforce Prevention and Community Services, is organizing a community event to call for answers in the murder of Paige Clay, a transgender woman who was killed on the city’s West Side on Monday morning.

Brian Turner, the organizer, said the motivation for this event is also due to the dissatisfaction over the police investigation.

“My main reason for doing this is because it seems like it is in the process of being swept under the mat,” he said.

Clay, who was 23, was found with a gunshot wound to her forehead early Monday morning in an alley behind the 4500 block of West Jackson Boulevard. Area North detectives are investigation the case and no suspects are in custody. Initial information obtained from police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office could not confirm her gender identity.

Turner, who runs a program for transgender women called Women of Many Voices of which Clay was a member, has taken it upon himself to be a voice for the now silenced Clay.

Continue reading at:  http://chicagophoenix.com/2012/04/20/communities-to-rally-for-slain-transgender-woman/

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No fair share for war taxes

From Waging Nonviolence:  http://wagingnonviolence.org/2012/04/no-fair-share-for-war-taxes/

by
April 20, 2012

I am big fan of the post office in general and of my local post office in particular. I go there as often as I can (honestly, I do). But, when I needed stamps on Monday, I was not prepared for the line snaking out the door. I had completely forgotten about tax day! I girded myself for a long wait, but the clerks were the very picture of efficiency and I was in and out and all stocked up on bonsai stamps in ten minutes.

While I stood in line, I thought about the peculiarity of our tax system. For most Americans, April is a month marked by terrible stress, paper pushing and a last minute mad dash to get the taxes finished before April 15 (or the 17th, this year). People plan and pine and worry and most pay a sizable percentage (16-20 percent even for people of lower income brackets) of their annual income in taxes.

Corporations?  Not so much. The New York Times reported last March that for 2010, General Electric paid no taxes on $5.1 billion in U.S.-based profits. Behemoth Bank of America made $4.4 billion in 2009 and got back a very tidy tax return from the federal government — $2.3 billion. Most Americans are lucky if they can pay off an overdue credit card bill (probably from Bank of America) or treat themselves to a nice dinner out or weekend away with their tax returns. Verizon (can you hear me now?) “earned” $12 billion in 2010. That should mean a sizable tax burden here. But, as of 2011, the company has not paid anything in taxes for two years running. The list goes on.

The corporate tax rate is supposed to be 35 percent. President Barack Obama is proposing lowering that to 28 percent. It kind of doesn’t matter, because it seems like no corporations pay anywhere close to 35 percent in taxes.

Check this out. What is the most patriotic sector of our economy? The military industry, right? Lockheed Martin has the slogan: “We Never Forget Who We’re Working For.” That is totally ungrammatical — although doesn’t “we never forget for whom we work” sound a little snooty?

Continue reading at:  http://wagingnonviolence.org/2012/04/no-fair-share-for-war-taxes/

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Experience: I tried to ‘cure’ gay people

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/apr/20/i-tried-to-cure-gay-people

‘It never occurred that maybe you are gay because that’s just the way you are’

Jeremy Marks
guardian.co.uk, Friday 20 April 2012

In the 1980s, I started a group called Courage, to “cure” homosexuality. Although today the “ex-gay” ministry seems offensive, back then it was cutting edge, in that we were reaching out to the gay community. The rest of the church just said, “You’re wasting your time, they’re going to go to hell.” We didn’t have a “deliverance” approach, but there were some ministries that regarded homosexuals as being possessed by a demonic spirit that could be cast out. We adopted the psychoanalytic idea of an unfortunate family background: distant father, overbearing mother – and this was just a boy looking for a father’s love. The idea was that if placed in an affirming male environment, you’d grow out of your desires.

I’d known I was gay from about the age of 13. I got on well with girls, but I didn’t feel the sexual chemistry I felt when I watched Richard Chamberlain in Dr Kildare. In those days you could never talk about it. It was a lonely, frightening world.

Then, in 1973, I started going to a Baptist church. It was different from the Anglican one I’d been brought up in. It taught the Bible as being literally true. When I confided in the pastors, they said that resisting homosexual urges was the same as resisting the temptation to steal or lie.

Even though the law changed in 1957 with the Wolfenden Report, the rest of society lagged behind. There was still a sense that what I felt was criminal. But back then, nobody had sex before marriage. That I couldn’t have a relationship didn’t seem too bad when all the people around me weren’t either. It got more difficult later on, when one by one they got married and I was still on my own.

Then, in 1986, I came across a group called the True Freedom Trust and went to one of their meetings, for lesbian and gay Christians who wanted to “overcome” their sexuality. This was the first time I’d met any gay Christians, and it was a huge relief. One evening there was a young man visiting from San Francisco who told how this “ex-gay” ministry called Love In Action had saved him from being a male prostitute. He talked about how God could change your life and how part of that positive change was you wouldn’t be gay any more. I went to train with them, and returned to England to set up Courage. We ran a residential programme called Steps Out Of Homosexuality. People came from all over Europe. I did feel attractions, but we believed wholesome friendship was the answer, so I turned my battles into a great cause.

In 1991 I married an amazing woman, the first to lead a (free) church in the UK. We were both in our early 40s, had been good friends for many years, and did not want to be on our own for the rest of our lives. My wife is not a lesbian, but we thought we could at least live a life of companionship and mutual support.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/apr/20/i-tried-to-cure-gay-people

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Wage Inequality Between College Majors Is Growing

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/workers-math-science-degrees_n_1437685.html

By
04/20/2012

If you worry that you may make the same meager inflation-adjusted salary forever, you may want to consider going back to school and getting a different degree.

The premium on a good education is rising, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s because demand for workers in areas requiring math and science training is growing at a faster pace than the supply of those employees, so employers are willing to pay higher wages to hire and retain those workers.

As a result, wage inequality between college majors is growing. The median salary of math, science, and computer science majors’ first jobs rose 5 times as quickly as the median salary of humanities and science majors’ first jobs in 2012, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

And workers that start out at a lower salary will likely be making less money for the rest of their lives. Workers that majored in math, economics, biology, and engineering make between $40 and $51 per hour on average in 2012, according to a separate Wall Street Journal report that analyzes a recent economics paper by Yale University economists. Workers that majored in nearly anything else make less than $40 per hour on average. For example, economics graduates make twice as much as social work graduates on average.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/workers-math-science-degrees_n_1437685.html

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Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/vatican-reprimands-us-nuns-group.html

By
Published: April 18, 2012

The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” During the debate over the health care overhaul in 2010, American bishops came out in opposition to the health plan, but dozens of sisters, many of whom belong to the Leadership Conference, signed a statement supporting it — support that provided crucial cover for the Obama administration in the battle over health care.

The conference is an umbrella organization of women’s religious communities, and claims 1,500 members who represent 80 percent of the Catholic sisters in the United States. It was formed in 1956 at the Vatican’s request, and answers to the Vatican, said Sister Annmarie Sanders, the group’s communications director.

Word of the Vatican’s action took the group completely by surprise, Sister Sanders said. She said that the group’s leaders were in Rome on Wednesday for what they thought was a routine annual visit to the Vatican when they were informed of the outcome of the investigation, which began in 2008.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/vatican-reprimands-us-nuns-group.html

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Tennessee Conservative Backed Bill Could Criminalize Natural Miscarriages

From Addicting Info: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/04/21/tennessee-conservative-backed-bill-could-criminalize-natural-miscarriages/

By
April 21, 2012

The Republican controlled Tennessee House has passed a bill that would criminalize harming an embryo, which is a group of cells that eventually forms into a fetus. Republicans say House Bill 3517 is meant to clarify an existing law that allows the prosecution of those who harm any fetus. But opponents of the bill claim that it could criminalize women who lose a pregnancy via natural miscarriage.

The Tennessean reports that Democratic Rep. Jeanne Richardson predicted that the bill could lead to the criminal prosecution of women who naturally miscarry, which according to the National Institutes of Health, around 50% of all fertilized eggs terminate naturally before reaching full term, and during the embryonic stage the rate of natural termination is higher.

‘Fetus’ is a term most often used after eight weeks of pregnancy. Before that, the term ‘embryo’ is used. By passing this bill, Republicans are trying to mandate that embryos can be victims of crime, which would basically define embryos as persons from the moment of conception. It’s a sneaky way to pass a personhood law. And since abortion is the unnatural termination of an embryo or fetus, the legislation could be used to prosecute women and doctors for murder. This bill IS an anti-abortion law that could scare women from getting an abortion and scare doctors from performing an abortion, even if an abortion is medically necessary. Women who are raped could also face prosecution for getting an abortion. But ultimately, this bill could give any law enforcement official the power to pursue criminal charges against women who naturally miscarry. And considering that many Republicans think miscarriage is murder, it’s not that far-fetched. Last February, Georgia Republican Bobby Franklin introduced a bill that would require investigations of natural miscarriages. If a miscarriage was found to be unnatural, a women could get the death penalty. That’s the direction Tennessee may be heading. So, if you are a woman who has a miscarriage and your nosy anti-abortion neighbor finds out and tells authorities, a conservative prosecutor who wants to score political points could invade your privacy and put you through a rigorous investigation to see if the miscarriage was indeed natural or not and could even have you arrested on the charge of murder because of the ambiguous nature of the bill’s language.

Complete article at:  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/04/21/tennessee-conservative-backed-bill-could-criminalize-natural-miscarriages/

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Earth First! Dances on Governor’s Table in Tar Sands Protest.

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Our Bodies, Their Politics

From In These Times:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/13007/our_bodies_their_politics

The last few months have made abundantly clear what women must do: Rid America’s capitols of misogynists.

BY Marilyn Katz
April 16, 2012

The first “women’s group” that I was involved in was not born out of feminist theory or organized by intellectual women on campus. Rather it was in 1966 in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, and its members were poor African-American moms on welfare and thirtysomething (looking 50) Appalachian women, newly arrived from Kentucky and West Virginia.

Not much older than me, many of the women in the group provided physical testament to the possible effects of multiple childbirths while young and poor. The work of the group ranged from food co-ops to welfare reform, from rent strikes to learning to read. The impetus for the group, however, was a clear-eyed view that welfare was a “women’s issue,” and the need – among the Appalachian women in particular – for protection and camaraderie in the face of their husbands’ explosive anger upon learning that “their” women were seeking information about birth control from government VISTA volunteers. Back then the outraged cry from men was not about “religious freedom,” but about male prerogative and the duties of women.

I have been reminded of those meetings in recent months by the series of controversies surrounding the contraception mandate in the federal healthcare reform law – from the exclusion of Sandra Fluke’s testimony at congressional hearings (GOP Rep. Joe Walsh said the birth control debate is “not about women”) to Rush Limbaugh’s virulent rant (and limp apology), to the barely audible denouncements of his statement by the Republican presidential candidates.

Contrary to the posturing of politicians and bishops alike, religious freedom is not the core issue. Consider, for example, the Catholic hospitals, schools and universities that have, for many years and with little fuss, provided insurance that covers birth control in the states that require them to do so.

The reality is, as it was 40 years ago in Uptown, that the debate about birth control is firstly and fundamentally about women – their rights and their lives. From Biblical times on, women – who bear the brunt as well as the joy of childbearing – have struggled to curtail unwanted pregnancies, often resorting to extreme measures in the face of possible death or the poverty that another child might bring.

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/13007/our_bodies_their_politics

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Judi Bari Revisited: New Film Exposes FBI Coverup of 1990 Car Bombing

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Two Years After the BP Drilling Disaster, Gulf Residents Fear for the Future

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/20

by Jordan Flaherty
Published on Friday, April 20, 2012 by Common Dreams

On April 20, 2010, a reckless attitude towards the safety of the Gulf Coast by BP, as well as Transocean and Halliburton, caused a well to blow out 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. As the world watched in horror, underwater cameras showed a seemingly endless flow of oil – hundreds of millions of gallons – and a series of failed efforts to stop it, over a period of nearly three months. Two years later, that horror has not ended for many on the Gulf.

“People should be aware that the oil is still there,” says Wilma Subra, a chemist who travels widely across the Gulf meeting with fishers and testing seafood and sediment samples for contamination.

Subra says that the reality she is seeing on the ground contrasts sharply with the image painted by BP. “I’m extremely concerned on the impact it’s having on all these sick individuals,” she says. Subra believes we may be just at the beginning of this disaster. In every community she visits, fishers show her shrimp born without eyes, fish with lesions, and crabs with holes in their shells. She says tarballs are still washing up on beaches across the region.

While it’s too early to assess the long-term environmental impact, a host of recent studies published by the National Academy of Sciences and other respected institutions have shown troubling results. They describe mass deaths of deepwater coral, dolphins, and killifish, a small animal at the base of the Gulf food chain. “If you add them all up, it’s clear the oil is still in the ecosystem, it’s still having an effect,” says Aaron Viles, deputy director of Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental organization active in the region.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/20

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Earth First! The Politics of Radical Environmentalism by Chris Manes

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Occupy Earth Day

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/21-3

by Peter Rugh
Published on Saturday, April 21, 2012 by Common Dreams

Earth is melting down like a nuclear reactor. At current rates of warming, Arctic sea ice will melt away by 2030. According to the UN’s environmental program, countries’ current greenhouse gas emissions pledges for the year 2020 would put them on par with current global levels, not enough to prevent the planet warming by at least 2C by the end of the century. Nasa climate scientist James Hansen has described such a rise as “a prescription for disaster”, leading to an increase of droughts, floods and other forms of extreme weather. Some estimates project a rise upwards of 6C by 2100.

On April 21st and 22nd, Occupy Wall Street activists will hold a series of rallies and non-violent civil disobediences against corporate-induced climate change taking grassroots action to reclaim Earth Day from the greenwashing interests of the 1%.

Earth Day, established in 1970 to celebrate and advocate for our shared planet, has become a shopping scheme. Nowhere is this clearer than in New York City. At EarthDayNY.org visitors to the website can download a “passport to green New York” which various retailers in the five boroughs will stamp for them. Twelve stamps and passport holders could win a 40” flat screen television from Toshiba. For $10,000 corporations can show off their supposed green credentials while competing for green dollars with a booth inside Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall. The event is sponsored by Home Depot, an importer of rainforest wood and by ConEdison, which paid zilch in taxes for 2011 and continues to source electricity from coal and from Entergy Corp.’s precarious Indian Point nuclear plant. Also on the corporate sponsor list—Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post.

The latest environmental expert on Murdoch’s Fox News, “birther” Brian Sussman, claimed this week the green movement was “concocted in the minds of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.” Paranoid for America’s resources rather than concerned the future of earth, Sussman calls for increased domestic oil and gas drilling, the hoarding of water, and for 100, “100% clean” new nuclear reactors to be built in the US.

There is nothing clean about nuclear power. One merely has to look at the ongoing disaster at Fukushima. Furthermore, many corporations, such as Southern, who run nuclear plants also run coal-burning plants. Fossil fuels are used in every part of the nuclear process, particularly in the extraction and transport of uranium. Recently, Entergy Corp. paid a $1.2 million penalty to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for violating the Clean Water Act, after a transformer at Indian Point exploded in 2010, spewing 10,000 gallons of petrol into the Hudson River.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/21-3

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