Exploiting the Unemployed

Some story just cause such total rage despair that one doesn’t know whether to cry or grab the pitch forks and torches.

The corporate scum have destroyed the middle and working class chance of ever obtaining some nebulous thing that used to be called the American Dream and now they feel free to spit on and abuse the workers whose jobs they out sourced or cut to drive up the profits that have given even more to the rich.

Smash the Corporations…

From Human Resources Executives:  http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=533327790

By Kristen B. Frasch

It seems a growing number of employers are offering lower-than-expected salaries to job candidates who are re-entering the workforce as the recession ebbs. Why? Because they can.

“Companies will pay you less because they know you have no choice but to take it,” Holly Erickson, 38, a resident of St. Clair, Mo., tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

According to the story, many unemployed job seekers are sacrificing about $10,000 in pay for every year they are out of work, although researchers have yet to pinpoint just how many workers have taken hits to their careers and wages because of the recession.

Complete article at:  http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=533327790

Democratic lawmaker: Citizens United puts US on path to fascism

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/citizens-united-path-fascism/

By Daniel Tencer
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 — 9:56 pm

The US Supreme Court’s striking down of nearly a century’s worth of campaign finance laws means the US government can now be “bought” and the country may be headed for fascism, says an outgoing Democratic House representative.

In an interview this week, Rep. John Hall (D-NY), who lost his seat in the mid-term elections, told the New York Observer that he sees a threat to American democracy in the court’s ruling.

“I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called fascism. So that’s really the question — is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?”

The Citizens United decision upended decades of campaign finance regulation, allowing corporations, unions and other groups to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns without having to identify themselves. In a decision split along ideological lines, the court ruled that restrictions on spending amounted to a violation of First Amendment rights. Others have challenged the notion that corporations and other organizations have the “personhood” needed to be granted constitutional rights.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/citizens-united-path-fascism/

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Polluter-Funded Groups Spending Almost $70 Million On Anti-Clean Energy Ads

I may have run this one before as I stumbled on the link in an end of year round-up.

I think it is more pertinent than ever given how the climate change deniers are cranking up their propaganda machines and claiming blizzards in New York are proof  there is no global warming.

When you are paid by polluters to sell a lie, you are a whore.  Money and need to survive makes many people into whores willing to lie for the corporations in order to get a paycheck.

The “Citizens (Corporations) United” ruling legalized the corporate purchasing of the US government.  The  corporate whores called spokespeople exist to con us into believing their lies.

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/21/polluter-money-elections/

By Josh Dorner

Oct 21st, 2010

Amid an unprecedented surge in mostly secret money into this year’s election campaign, a new report released yesterday by the Center for American Progress Action Fund details how 13 right-wing groups — including large secret money groups like American Crossroads, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and American Action Network — have spent more than $68.5 million this year on “misleading and fictitious televisions ads designed to shape midterm elections and advance their anti-clean energy reform agenda.” In addition to the anti-clean energy ads polluting our airwaves, an earlier CAPAF report outlined an astonishing $242 million in spending on lobbying by the 20 biggest oil, mining, and electric utility companies.

The New York Times reports this evening that “nearly half” of the Chamber’s $149 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 donors. (The Chamber claims to have 300,000 members.) “Many of those large donations coincided with lobbying or political campaigns that potentially affected the donors.”

With no end in sight to such dramatic spending in order to protect polluters’ profits, a new ThinkProgress exposé published yesterday suggests that the level of coordination between secret money political groups, ultra-rich conservative donors, and polluters may be even deeper than previously thought. ThinkProgress obtained a memo detailing a secretive gathering held by the Koch brothers this past June, at which the Koch brothers plotted their 2010 election strategy with 210 attendees from the oil industry, coal companies, health insurers, banks, right-wing media (including Glenn Beck), the U.S. Chamber, and others. The June meeting was merely the latest in a series of similar gatherings held twice annually by the Kochs in order to coordinate the funding of the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other anti-government efforts.

The list of attendees obtained by ThinkProgress shows that there is considerable overlap between the groups that have been running tens of millions in anti-clean energy ads and those who attended the Koch confab, including:

Continue reading at:   http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/21/polluter-money-elections/

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European Anarchists Grow More Violent, Coordinated

When the greed of the wealthy elite, the Corporations and masters of the universe make life for the majority of people so painful and purposeless they create revolutionary contradictions.

If those contradictions grow large enough due to the passage of austerity measures that make life so harsh for working people that they have nothing to lose then the chances of their being willing to roll the dice of revolution becomes inevitable.

Free market  MOTUs should have read Marx or the history of  how and why the New Deal saved their nuts instead reading the dribblings of  that schlock writer, Ayn Rand.

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/29/european-anarchists-grow-_n_802277.html


12/28/10 05:23 PM

ROME — A loosely linked movement of European anarchists who want to bring down state and financial institutions is becoming more violent and coordinated after decades out of the spotlight, and may be responding to social tensions spawned by the continent’s financial crisis, security experts say.

Italian police said Tuesday that letter bombs were sent to three embassies in Rome by Italian anarchists in solidarity with jailed Greek anarchists, who had asked their comrades to organize and coordinate a global “revolutionary war.”

Identical package bombs exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on Dec. 23, badly wounding the two people who opened them. A third bomb was safely defused at the Greek Embassy on Monday.

“We’re striking again, and we do so in response to the appeal launched by our Greek companions,” the Italian group known as the Informal Anarchist Federation wrote in a claim of responsibility for the third bomb that was released by police here Tuesday.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/29/european-anarchists-grow-_n_802277.html

Pity about Obama.  We needed another FDR and instead we got a Reagan worshiping neo-lib.

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Bye-bye Kodachrome

I must admit that over the years I shot far more Ektachrome than Kodachrome because so much of my photography was done with lower levels of light and Ektachrome could be push processed.

But the last roll of Kodachrome…  Film had and still has qualities digital doesn’t and Kodachrome was just so perfect for certain kinds of light.

I wake up some sunny winter mornings in LA and think, “My what a beautiful Kodachrome day.”  I’d stick my 28mm or 35mm on the Nikkormat I kept loaded with Kodachrome, shove it into my bag and head out for the day….

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/us/30film.html?hp

For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas

Published: December 29, 2010

PARSONS, Kan. — An unlikely pilgrimage is under way to Dwayne’s Photo, a small family business that has through luck and persistence become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome, the first successful color film and still the most beloved.

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.

In the last weeks, dozens of visitors and thousands of overnight packages have raced here, transforming this small prairie-bound city not far from the Oklahoma border for a brief time into a center of nostalgia for the days when photographs appeared not in the sterile frame of a computer screen or in a pack of flimsy prints from the local drugstore but in the warm glow of a projector pulling an image from a carousel of vivid slides.

In the span of minutes this week, two such visitors arrived. The first was a railroad worker who had driven from Arkansas to pick up 1,580 rolls of film that he had just paid $15,798 to develop. The second was an artist who had driven directly here after flying from London to Wichita, Kan., on her first trip to the United States to turn in three rolls of film and shoot five more before the processing deadline.

The artist, Aliceson Carter, 42, was incredulous as she watched the railroad worker, Jim DeNike, 53, loading a dozen boxes that contained nearly 50,000 slides into his old maroon Pontiac. He explained that every picture inside was of railroad trains and that he had borrowed money from his father’s retirement account to pay for developing them.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/us/30film.html?hp

The GID Diagnosis Being in the DSM is a Barrier to Equality

All too often the APA acts in its own interests rather than in the interests of people it pathologizes.

In many ways APA is more akin to a religion than to a science.  And like other religions there may be good and nice people involved in something that is systematically rotten.

Part of the problem started with the popularity of psychology and psychiatry as academic fields that were not examined with the same sort of scrutiny one would expect of a “science”.

The DSM has become a profit generating tool.  Erasing individual differences and non-conformity is looked upon as a cash cow.

There are a great deal of politics involved in who among the LGBT/TQ alphabet soup gets pathologized.

Transsexuals were not in the DSM in 1973, the year they removed homosexuality from the DSM.

In 1973 transsexuals were being reviled by a number of  lesbians and gay men.  We were considered reactionary by lesbians, told we were the creators of gender stereotypes when we were as influenced by those patriarchal gender roles as women/girls, who were assigned female at birth. Gay men thought the only reason we got SRS was to be able to have sex with straight men.  They also regularly described transsexual to female people having SRS as ditsy queens getting their cocks chopped off.

Feminists held transsexual to female people to extremely high and often contradictory standards that they didn’t hold assigned at birth female people to.  It didn’t matter that AFAB women called each other girls or dressed in micro-mini dresses and wore make up as they were “socialized into that role”.  This was an argument that excluded the possibility that WBTs were also subject to the same sort of generalized socialization which said this is what women do, this is how women dress and act.

Transgender wasn’t yet a functioning social construct, even though there were people who fit the earliest and most specific definition of transgender.

Sex Reassignment Surgery was still considered “Experimental”.

We were screened to insure we weren’t mentally ill.  This is a position we should perhaps consider reverting back to.

The accusation laid upon us was that we read the texts and rehearsed our stories to fit what the doctors wanted.

While that sounds good, it isn’t accurate.  Other than Dr. Benjamin’s book we had Green and Money’s book, Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment.  Benjamin’s book was often our first step in self-discovery while Green & Money provided us with nut and bolt information we could give doctors regarding things like hormone dosages as well as information regarding what we were doing with our bodies or perhaps more accurately what we wanted from the surgeons.

Most of the doctors were male and thought that any person assigned male at birth would be insane to want to be reassigned female via sex change surgery.  Can we say, “Projection of their castration anxiety”?

But there was something else working.  Here were a bunch of people who often had interrupted educations telling doctors in fairly abstract terms what transsexualism was all about.  We were the experts, they weren’t.

Pathologizing us was a way for doctors to regain the upper hand.

But GID was also a way for surgeons performing SRS to continue to do so in the face of a rising tide of opposition from the Christian right wing, which was becoming an increasingly thuggish force in American politics and which was exerting a great deal of pressure upon the University hospitals to end their SRS programs.

Transgender Inc was the enemy of transsexual to female people right from the start.  Virginia Prince started laying the ground work for our being pathologized years before becoming Virginia (living as transgender).

The organizations founded by Prince were part of pushing the whole gender line.  The idea that transsexualism was all about gender.

They have also pushed the idea that there was one community and that community was “Transgender”.  The idea that transsexuals are just transvestites that went too far is straight from Virginia Prince.

GID actually encompasses far more oppressive terminology and ideas that are a cancer within the transsexual community.

The idea that some who get SRS aren’t really transsexual because they did this, that or the other thing.

I’m an existentialist the proof is in the doing not the claiming of an identity.

As for things like gender identity confusion.  I can see a point when I was “confused” due to lack of a vocabulary with which to articulate my feelings.  Confused in the face of the seeming impossibility. But this is something that is resolved by coming out and short of detransing, gender identity confusion doesn’t much apply to post-SRS women and men.

As for the sexuality of women born transsexual.  Well, our having a sexuality is problematic according to so many people I can almost understand people saying that, “It isn’t about sex, it is about gender.”  But that right there is allowing our having the same sorts of sexual feelings that cis-sex/gender people have to be perversified. You have BBLand Z as well as those who are sucked into the BBL & Z AGP/AP paradigm claiming that being one or the other validates their being transsexual.  Then you have one of the self proclaimed “classic transsexuals” who claims that she is one of the only real transsexuals since she was totally asexual prior and according to one of the right wing mental illness pushers (Lionel Ovesey) having sex with anyone prior to SRS means you are a pervert and not a real transsexual.

Sometimes… I swear we are our own worst enemies.

I’ve listened to too many people pre-op TS and TG who hang their legitimacy on that damned GID diagnosis.  They are perhaps legitimately afraid the forces of conservative darkness will use removing GID from the DSM as a path to denying them access to medical care and legal rights.

On the other hand, Jesse Helms saw to it GID was explicitly excluded from the Americans with Disabilities Act to prevent the AWDA from offering non-discrimination protections.

Now it is being used to exclude TS/TG folks from the repeal of DADT.  So, ending DADT is another act that protects gay and lesbian people while leaving TS/TG people over in the corner fuming about how the L/G community has betrayed us once again.

My partner, Tina has always said, “There is no future in being the “T” in LGBT.”

Their understanding of  transsexual to female people and our needs seems to begin and end with drag queens. Our brothers seem to fare better in their relationship with the queer alphabet but none of us fare particularly well.

What pisses me off big time is how I went and marched as well as argued for the removal of homosexuality from the DSM but haven’t seen a whole lot of lesbians or gay men arguing for the removal of GID from the DSM.

In fact there is a substantial segment of the “Lesbian Community” that is as hateful towards us as anyone of the Christo-Fascists in the “Kill the Gays Movement”.

I’m almost afraid that when the struggle to pass ENDA is again brought to the forefront TS/TG people will yet again be a bargaining chip to be discarded because after all we are mentally ill.  Just look at what the DSM and the equivalent of  Charles Socarides and Joseph Nicolosi have to say about us.

Shit we even have sisters who find validation in Bailey, Blanchard, Rekers, Lawrence, Zucker and Ovesey.

I fear GID being in the DSM poses a serious road block to any chance of TS/TG people making progress in the pursuit of non-discrimination laws or other matters of social justice and equality.