Anti-abortion bill’s intent was to help rape victims, Democratic co-sponsor says

Remove Rep. Daniel Lipinski from office,  Recall him, run some one against him, sit the election out and let his opponent win.  This woman hater does not belong in office.

What a misogynistic pile of horseshit.  We need a left wing version of the Tea Party to rid the party of dickwads like this one.

I so want this scum sucking piece of shit to know what it feels like to be raped.

Even then he wouldn’t know what it is like to be forced to bear a monster child of a rapist.

From Raw Story:

By Nathan Diebenow
Monday, January 31st, 2011

A bill that would redefine rape was not meant to end federal funding allocations for women that sought to terminate pregnancies due to rape, a Democratic congressman said recently.

“The language of HR 3 was not intended to change existing law regarding taxpayer funding for abortion in cases of rape, nor is it expected that it would do so,” Rep. Daniel Lipinski of Illinois said in a statement to Talking Points Memo Saturday.


However, that could all change if the bill’s language is not clarified. Instead of keeping the 30-year-old definition of rape in federal law, the bill would modify it to “forcible rape,” thereby severely limiting the health care choices of millions of American women and their families.

In other words, rape would not be rape unless violence were involved; but the term “forcible rape” was left undefined, leading some to speculate its meaning since it is also not defined in the federal criminal code or in some state laws.

The bill largely co-sponsored by Republicans, if it becomes law, would also disallow parents of minors from paying for pregnancy termination for their daughters with tax-exempt health savings accounts. Also, the cost of the private health insurance that covered the treatment would not be able to be deducted as a medical expense for tax purposes.

Complete article at:

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Stop the Kochs From Destroying The Freedom of Americans

The Kochs should know that the people are on to their attempts to pervert the American political process and destroy our great nation.

People are waking up to the fact that we are a democracy and that we want politicians who represent the interests of the people not the greedy thieving rich elite scum that control the corporations and Wall Street.

From Fire Dog Lake:

Thousands Converge on Koch Brothers Billionaire’s Caucus; 25 Arrested

By: David Dayen

Sunday January 30

Twenty-five protesters were arrested in Rancho Mirage, California today, at a protest in front of the Rancho Las Palmas resort, site of the “Billionaire’s Caucus,” an annual meeting put on by the Koch Brothers and other corporate entities and conservative movement operators.

Riverside Sheriff’s deputy Melissa Nieburger said that the sheriff’s department did have contacts with protest organizers, which included the California Courage Campaign, CREDO,,, the California Nurses Association, United Domestic Workers of America and the main sponsor, the good-government group Common Cause, prior to the event, and that they were aware that some protesters would seek to be arrested for trespassing. She would not guarantee that all 25 who were arrested were part of that coordinated operation. The police, who wore riot gear, batons and helmets, did put the arrested into plastic handcuffs. Nieburger described them as “passive restraints.” They were being processed at press time, and Nieburger would not say whether they would be released or would spend the night at the jail in Indio.

Nieburger estimated between 800 and 1,000 activists at the “Uncloak the Kochs” event. Event organizers chartered buses from several locations around Southern California and claimed 1,500 people signed up for those buses, on top of any local activists who attended. It appeared from the ground that well over 1,000 protesters were there.

While the sheriff’s deputy claimed no knowledge of who called out the Riverside County sheriffs and the Palm Springs police department to the proceedings, Common Cause was contacted by the sheriff to see what they were planning and coordinate appropriate resources. The city of Rancho Mirage contracts with the Riverside County sheriff’s department for their law enforcement needs.

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From Raw Story:

Greenpeace blimp buzzes Koch brothers’ strategy meeting

By Daniel Tencer
Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Attendees of the billionaire Koch brothers’ strategy session in Rancho Mirage, California, this weekend were met with an unusual sight: A blimp overhead declaring “Koch brothers — dirty money.”

The blimp was the work of Greenpeace, the environmentalist group that last year brought attention to the prominent role that Charles and David Koch, owners of Kansas-based oil company Koch Industries, play in efforts to discredit climate change theories.

The brothers, who jointly own the second-largest privately held company in the US, “are able to push their polluter agenda through tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions, lobbying, and funding fronts groups and think tanks,” Greenpeace said on its website.

The environmental group argued that Koch brothers meetings attract enough big conservative money for the meetings to be considered a de facto political movement in and of itself.

Analyzing the attendance list of an earlier Koch meeting in Aspen, Colorado, Greenpeace found that the participants had contributed more than $61 million to political campaigns since 1990 — a statistic that prompted the Guardian‘s Ed Pilkington to declare that the meetings’ attendees form “a major, though unofficial, bloc within American politics.”

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Boycott Chick fil-A, Don’t Give Your Money to Bigots

From The New York Times:

A Chicken Chain’s Corporate Ethos Is Questioned by Gay Rights Advocates

Published: January 29, 2011


Nicknamed “Jesus chicken” by jaded secular fans and embraced by Evangelical Christians, Chick-fil-A is among only a handful of large American companies with conservative religion built into its corporate ethos. But recently its ethos has run smack into the gay rights movement. A Pennsylvania outlet’s sponsorship of a February marriage seminar by one of that state’s most outspoken groups against homosexuality lit up gay blogs around the country. Students at some universities have also begun trying to get the chain removed from campuses.


Because the company remains privately held — his two sons run it — it can easily keep its faith-based principles intact. The company’s corporate purpose is, in part, “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.”

With its near-national reach and its transparent conservative Christian underpinnings, Chick-fil-A is a trailblazer of sorts, said Lake Lambert, the author of “Spirituality, Inc.” and dean of the college of liberal arts at Mercer University, where he teaches Christianity.

“They’re going in a direction we haven’t seen in faith-based businesses before, and that is to a much broader marketing of themselves and their products,” he said. “This is possibly the next phase of evangelical Christianity’s muscle flexing.”

The company’s Christian culture and its strict hiring practices, which require potential operators to discuss their marital status and civic and church involvement, have attracted controversy before, including a 2002 lawsuit brought by a Muslim restaurant owner in Houston who said he was fired because he did not pray to Jesus with other employees at a training session. The suit was settled.

The sandwiches that will feed people who attend a February seminar, called “The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God’s Design,” in Harrisburg, Pa., are but a tiny donation.

Over the years, the company’s operators, its WinShape Foundation and the Cathy family have given millions of dollars to a variety of causes and programs, including scholarships that require a pledge to follow Christian values, a string of Christian-based foster homes and groups working to defeat same-sex marriage initiatives.

Complete article at:

From The Atlanta Journal Constitution:

A variety of complaints against the Atlanta-based company coalesced this month. There was the decision by a Chick-fil-A operator in Pennsylvania to supply food to an event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which has worked to defeat gay marriage initiatives and has become a lightning rod for gay rights groups. There was a blogger’s contention that Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Foundation does not admit gay couples to marriage counseling.

For some gay activists, these are just more reasons to avoid the company’s chicken sandwiches and conservative ways.

“Chick-fil-A can sponsor who they want. It’s a free country,” said Will Kohler, administrator of a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender blog called “But they shouldn’t get upset when they get found out supporting issues and ideas that discriminate against a section of their customers.”

Complete article at:

Don’t Sleep With the Enemy and Don’t Give the Enemy Your Money

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The Revolution in Egypt: Mubarak is a Dictator, but he is our Dictator

First the revolution in Tunisia now in Egypt with large demonstrations through out  North Africa and the Middle East.

People getting sick and tired of being enslaved by the oligarchs and the Multi-National Corporations.

I’ve come to have very little faith in American main stream media, considering how even the New York Times, the paper I’ve always considered the best in the nation sold us on the war in Iraq.

There is so much going on.  I read the Guardian UK, Al Jazeera, BBC and news sites like Raw Story to get the news as it unfolds.

The headlines that jumped out at me yesterday were:

New York Times:

(File this one under: He’s a dictator, but he is our dictator.)

Israel Shaken as Turbulence Rocks an Ally

Published: January 30, 2011

JERUSALEM — The street revolt in Egypt has thrown the Israeli government and military into turmoil, with top officials closeted in round-the-clock strategy sessions aimed at rethinking their most significant regional relationship.

Israel’s military planning relies on peace with Egypt; nearly half the natural gas it uses is imported from Egypt; and the principle of trading conquered land for diplomatic ties began with its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt more than with any other foreign leader, except President Obama. If Mr. Mubarak were driven from power, the effect on Israel could be profound.

“For the United States, Egypt is the keystone of its Middle East policy,” a senior official said. “For Israel, it’s the whole arch.”

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mr. Netanyahu has ordered his ministers and their officials to stay publicly silent on Egypt while events there play out.

Continue reading at:

From Raw Story:

US, Europe fear Arab revolt ‘contagion’: analysts

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, January 30th, 2011

PARIS — The United States and Europe are raising pressure for democratic reform in Egypt but face a tricky task amid fears that the violent unrest there could spread far beyond its borders, analysts say.

The United States on Sunday raised pressure on Egypt’s long-time President Hosni Mubarak, its closest ally in the Arab world, to make reforms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for an “orderly transition” to democracy.

Denis Bauchard of the French International Relations Institute (IFRI) said US President “Barack Obama has taken the lead, calling for political reform, without sparing Mubarak, and that’s quite smart.”

Clinton went further on Sunday, saying that Mubarak’s move to name his first ever vice-president and a new premier was not nearly enough to answer the concerns of his people.

“We’re trying to promote an orderly transition and change that will respond to the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people which the protests are all about,” Clinton told CBS television news.

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From CNN:

Egypt protests draw mixed reaction in region

By the CNN Wire Staff

January 29, 2011

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Saudi Arabia slammed protesters in Egypt on Saturday as “infiltrators” who seek to destabilize their country, while a a top Palestinian official affirmed “solidarity” with Egypt.

An official in Iran called on Egypt to “abide by the rightful demands of the nation” and avoid violent reactions.

And in Israel, a member of the Knesset, or parliament, described a recent conversation with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that suggested that Mubarak had been expecting — and preparing for — the wave of unrest that has engulfed Egypt, the most populous Arab nation.

Leaders across the Middle East were following events in Egypt with rapt attention Saturday, aided in that endeavor by saturation coverage on Arabic television networks such as Al-Jazeera. Many are on edge after protests in Algeria, Jordan and Yemen following unrest in Tunisia that forced that country’s president from office after two decades in power.

In Saudi Arabia, the turmoil in Egypt rattled investors as the nation’s stock market lost over 6% of its value Saturday.

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From Al Jazeera:

US calls for ‘orderly transition’

January 30, 2011

International reaction to the ongoing protests in Egypt has been mixed, with Barack Obama, the US president, voicing support for an “orderly transition” in Egypt in phone calls with foreign leaders.

Obama spoke by phone on Saturday with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish prime minister and Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. He also spoke to David Cameron, British prime minister, on Sunday.

“During his calls, the president reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” the White House said.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera’s Rosalind Jordan, reporting from Washington DC, said that Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, would “not favour any transition to a new government where oppression … would take root.”

It’s unclear if that includes if such a government would, in the US’s view, include the Muslim Brotherhood party.

Jordan noted that in making the rounds on Sunday television shows, Clinton sidestepped the question of whether Mubarak would be given asylum in the US or in another allied country.Clinton also pressed Mubarak to ensure that the coming elections are free and fair and to live up to his promises of reform but insisted Egypt must avoid a result like that of Iran, which she called a “faux democracy.”

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From Al Jazeera:

Egypt condemned for blocking media

January 31, 2011

International press institutes have come out strongly against Egyptian authorities’ suppression of the media, following the withdrawal of Al Jazeera’s license to broadcast from the North African country.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned on Sunday the information ministry’s move to shutdown Al Jazeera’s bureau in the country.

The CPJ described the move as an attempt to “disrupt media coverage by Al Jazeera and calls on them to reverse the decision immediately”.

The official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported that the order was to take effect on Sunday, and transmissions originating from Egypt ceased within an hour of the announcement. Nilesat, the satellite transmission company owned by Egyptian radio and television stopped the transmission of Al Jazeera’s primary channel and others.

Reporters without borders added to the condemnation of Egyptian authorities attempt to quell the media.

“By banning Al Jazeera, the government is trying to limit the circulation of TV footage of the six-day-old wave of protests,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said.

Continue reading at:

From The New York Times:

Unrest in Egypt Unsettles Global Markets

January 31, 2010

On Wall Street, it is what is known as an exogenous event — a sudden political or economic jolt that cannot be predicted or modeled but sends shockwaves rippling through global markets.

Investors have largely shrugged off several of these unexpected developments recently, including the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, but the situation in Egypt has the potential to cause more widespread uncertainty, especially if oil and other commodities keep surging or the unrest spreads to more countries in the Middle East.

While Egypt’s banks and stock market were closed because of the protests there, other Middle Eastern markets declined in trading Sunday, with shares falling by 4.3 percent in Dubai, 3.7 percent in Abu Dhabi and 2.9 percent in Qatar.

By early Monday morning, Asian markets were also trending lower, with Japan’s Nikkei index falling 1.5 percent, while in South Korea, the Kospi index slid 1.4 percent.

Last week, the Dow Jones industrial average nearly surpassed the closely watched 12,000 level, but fell 166 points in late trading Friday as the protests in Egypt intensified and oil prices jumped 3.7 percent to $89.34.

With the United States economy seeming to gain a foothold only recently — government data released Friday showed the economy grew by 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 — a sustained increase in oil prices could choke growth, analysts said. It could also undermine the more general optimism that lifted the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index by 1.5 percent in January, after a 12.8 percent jump in 2010.

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Eleanor Galenson, Expert on Children’s Sexual Identity, Dies at 94

From The New York Times:

Published: January 29, 2011

Dr. Eleanor Galenson, a psychoanalyst whose research demonstrated that children are aware of sexual identity in infancy, even earlier than Freud had propounded, died on Jan. 15 at her home in Manhattan. She was 94.

Her son Paul Himmelstein confirmed the death.

Dr. Galenson, who in her 65-year career was a professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, spent thousands of hours observing and documenting the actions and reactions of infants.

In 1981, with Dr. Herman Roiphe, she published “Infantile Origins of Sexual Identity.” Considered a significant book in the field, it refined existing Freudian theory about when children begin their sexual development. Dr. Roiphe died in 2005.

Freud postulated that awareness of genital difference does not affect children until the Oedipal stage — around 4 to 5 years old — when boys become competitive with their fathers for their mothers’ attention and girls turn more toward their fathers.

But Freud’s writing on psychosexual development was based on work with adult patients, said Dr. Nellie Thompson, a historian of psychoanalysis.

“What Galenson and Roiphe were doing was observing very young children in the nursery over time,” Dr. Thompson said. “They concluded that children make the discovery of genital difference between the ages of 15 to 19 months, and that this has an impact on their play, their relationship with their own bodies, their relationship with their parents.”

Dr. Galenson and Dr. Roiphe wrote in the book that as their research proceeded “we became increasingly convinced that we had been engaged in tracing the development of the sense of sexual identity from its vague beginnings during the earliest weeks and months to a definite conscious awareness of specific gender and genital erotic feelings and fantasies by the end of the second year.

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The Transgender Borg and Hungry Ghosts

Hungry ghosts are a Buddhist concept (see Wikipedia) Thoughts Without a Thinker, Mark Epstein :

The Hungry Ghosts are probably the most vividly drawn metaphors in the Wheel of Life. Phantomlike creatures with withered limbs, grossly bloated bellies, and long thin necks, the Hungry Ghosts in many ways represent a fusion of rage and desire. Tormented by unfulfilled cravings and insatiably demanding of impossible satisfactions, the Hungry Ghosts are searching for gratification for old unfulfilled needs whose time has passed. They are beings who have uncovered a terrible emptiness within themselves, who cannot see the impossibility of correcting something that has already happened. Their ghostlike state represents their attachment to the past.

I find myself thinking of the”hungry ghosts” metaphor every time I hear people say “GRS didn’t change my sex, I was always female.”  Of course “sex change operation” is to coarsely vulgar and working class, cuts too close to reality, punctures too many fantasies to be acceptable as a description of what being born with and treated for transsexualiity actually involves. Even the the more medically correct description of what  the operation is about, “sex reassignment surgery” cuts too close to the bone.

Hungry ghosts wear many different disguises.

Some make unsubstantiated claims to obscure intersex conditions, even though these conditions only seem to appear in middle age after the fathering of children.  At the same time those who come out young with obvious physical traits suggesting the hormones associated with the sex assigned at birth do not function as expected, rarely show the obsessive interest in finding their true intersex nature.

Could it be that those who just accept their transsexuality for what it is and deal with it have a better outlook on life than those who flood the blogs and mailing lists with details of their biology that embarrasses even a potty mouthed old dyke like me?  I suppose it could be that those of us who come out young have a more seamless way of approaching being born transsexual than those who up end their lives in middle age, and less need to rationalize the major turmoil changing sex can present in established adulthood.  Perhaps having less guilt or shame permits us to both come out young and accept being who we are.

Today on a mailing list some one held up as evidence of their intersex condition their having a scar like line down the underside of their scrotum.  They claimed this was “abnormal” and that normal men didn’t have this.  Groan, I had the same basic reaction I had when I had to teach basic biology of sex to people who wanted SRS and had never actually seen a pussy.  My first reaction to today’s gaffe was, “Obviously this person has never given a man, a blowjob.

Again Wikipedia:

The perineal raphe extends from the anus, through the mid-line of the scrotum (scrotal raphe) and upwards through the posterior mid-line aspect of the penis (penile raphe).

It is observed as a noticeable line.

It is the result of a fetal developmental phenomenon whereby the scrotum (the developmental equivalent of the labia in females) and penis close toward the midline and fuse.

The resulting ridge of tissue is evident as the perineal raphe.

Now I believe that transsexualism is in and of itself an intersex condition, one that probably has something to do with how hormones are processed.  But why obsess on it?  Aren’t there better things to do with your time like learn to play a musical instrument or down loading porn to masturbate with?

Then there is a separate gaggle of hungry ghosts.  The ones who are more transsexual than all others who had the exact same sort of sex change operation everyone else had. Damn, their shit not only doesn’t stink but smells like designer perfume.  They don’t have transsexualism like the common peasants, oh no, they have HBS or Harry Benjamin Syndrome.

But it is the same sort of hungry ghost eternally searching for something that makes them other than what they were born.

Now the “classic transsexuals” are sort of a variation on the theme. Their premise is that anyone who doesn’t fit their vary narrow definition of a real transsexual isn’t.  Of course they may be the only person who fits that rigid definition.  This is kind of amusing in a reality TV, mixed martial arts cage fighting sort of way, since there are a number of different personal definitions of what constitutes a “classic transsexual”.  Considering photos I’ve seen of several of these people beauty is not one of the deciding factors, nor is being particularly feminine.

The main food hungry ghosts seem to be searching for is validation.  Society is really short on external validation when it comes to validating the lives of people with transsexualism. Anyway if you lack internal validation then you will never be satisfied with the junk food of external validation.

The other thing hungry ghosts are often seeking is authenticity and authenticity cannot be found through identity or word games.  Authenticity comes through action, accomplishments and living a life that is successful by your own standards.

The quest for authenticity leads us to the Transgender Borg.

While those post-transsexual women who embrace “HBS/Classic Transsexual” act as though they are the only true transsexuals, therefore tend to not even get along with each other. Those who embrace the “Transgender as Umbrella” are more like the Borg of Star Trek: the Next Generation.

When I lived in East Hollywood I was surrounded by Scientologists. Over the years Scientology had become like a cancer buying up real estate and thereby removing it from the tax rolls.

The weird thing about them was how much they resembled the Borg, another science fiction creation.  They all had the exact same answers on almost any topic.

Dealing with the Transgender Borg is like that.  Push the right buttons and their program spits out the exact same response.

Like the Borg, “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.”  Listen to our wisdom and hear us demean and abuse you if you do not agree to be assimilated.

Now some post-ops get sucked into this and become model Borg to those of us who go, “Piss of, we don’t want to be part of your freaking cult.”

Then the Transgender Borg say, “Well, we defined you as a subset of the TG Borg Collective, resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

Now, Virginia Prince is to the Transgender Borg Collective what L. Ron Hubbard is to Scientology.   That is to say the basis for much of the ideology although people have added to the dogma since.

Mostly the dogma of the Transgender Borg says you can be a woman though male as long as you claim to identify as female.  It also says there isn’t any such thing as a sex change operation, only an inverted penis.  Oh and, “Even though we have penises, we are real women and those who had SRS are not unless they stay part of the Transgender Borg Collective.”

The Transgender Borg demand that devotion to the collective be the central focus of the lives of those they have assimilated or marked for colonization.  There too, the resemblance to the church of Scientology is remarkable.

There is actually a much saner path one can take if one is post-transsexual and that is to opt out of being a part of either group.

With very few exceptions I think people get sex reassignment surgery for pretty much the same reason.  The screening procedures mostly work and stop people who are walking into disaster.  Does this mean there aren’t people who fool the gate keepers?  No a motivated person can scam their way into surgery.  Samantha Kane is a prime example but there have been others.  Were I on the civil jury I would find for the Doctors.  Common sense should tell people that it is not hair and won’t grow back.

I don’t feel like I want to be a part of either faction.

I’d rather self-validate and get my strokes from friends.  I’m secure enough in my own being to not want to run around proclaiming how I am the only real transsexual and I don’t want to be part of the Transgender Borg Collective.

Video Report From Davos

Raw Video: Protest at World Economic Forum

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Sundance film takes aim at US gender inequality

From Raw Story:

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, January 29th, 2011

PARK CITY, Utah — A documentary at this year’s Sundance film festival takes aim at gender inequality in the United States and the distorted image of women in the media.

“Miss Representation,” the directorial debut of actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom, peers through the glass ceiling with a wide range of women, including political and media figures who would seem to have broken through it.

The film is in competition at the Sundance independent film festival here in the US state of Utah, with prizes to be announced later on Saturday.

It features dozens of interviews with American women from all walks of life — including Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice — who discuss the gender barriers they have faced and ways to lift them.

“Some of them were actually frightened to say something, they were afraid of losing their job. That shows this fear that we have in America, the fear we women have of speaking our mind,” Newsom told AFP.

“Hopefully I’m encouraging other women and men to have a voice and stand up for women’s rights, which are human rights,” she added.

The film includes several statistics showing that gender inequality is worse in the United States than in much of the rest of the world.

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Capital of conservatism

From Socialist Worker:

Democrats are as responsible as Republicans for the right-wing climate in Washington.

January 26, 2011

THE DOGMAS and delusions of conservatives and Corporate America are still dominating national politics–and their most effective advocate has turned out to be a Democratic president.

That’s the conclusion we drew from President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. The man who not long ago was derided as a “socialist” by the right wants to “make America the best place on Earth to do business” and to work with Republicans to shrink the deficit with a five-year freeze on federal spending–non-security-related spending, that is.

Are we exaggerating? After all, Obama served up his proposals with appeals to tolerance and rhetoric about helping those in need. He said that the real measure of the success of the economy wasn’t the stock market but “the success of our people.”

Plus, sitting in the audience in Congress was the new Republican majority in the House–their snarling about “job killing” and “anti-business” policies temporarily quieted by the spotlight on Obama’s speech and the calls for more “civility” following the Arizona shootings.

Compared to the union-hating, immigrant-bashing, budget-slashing Republicans, Obama can’t help but seem progressive and reasonable. And that’s been his strongest appeal for the millions of people who voted for him two years ago and are disappointed today–at least he’s not them.

The media recap of the State of the Union speech will portray the national “debate” on an incredibly narrow spectrum, with Obama and the Democrats as the left-most extreme and the Republicans as the right. But this misses the fact that Democrats and Republicans agree on so much more than they disagree–and that both parties have dragged the debate to the right.

In fact, Obama’s speech was filled with the same tired phrases heard over and over from Republicans and Democrats alike: “[T]he challenges we face are bigger than party.” “Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation.” “Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.” “[T]he American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects.” “[L]et us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation is united in support of our troops and their families.”

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Some Snarky Music for a Cynical Saturday

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Conversations with History: Noam Chomsky

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Egypt tense after bloody protests

It is unclear in the American press if there is a revolution happening in Egypt or simply massive demonstrations.

So much pressure has been put upon the poor, exploiting them mercilessly in order to enrich the small elites at the top that a pressure cooker situation has been created.

The dictators will be the first to face revolutions while ostensibly democratic nations including those on the verge of bankruptcy may continue if the governments take much needed actions to restore the economic balance.

From Al Jazeera:

January 29, 2011

A tense calm has descended on the Egyptian capital, Cairo, following a night of deadly protests, but anger against Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-old presidency is continuing to simmer.

Al Jazeera’s Jane Dutton, reporting from Cairo, said the normally bustling city looked more like a warzone on Saturday morning.

Cities across Egypt witnessed unprecedented protests on Friday, with tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets after noon prayers to vent their anger against Mubarak. The president went on air at midnight, announcing that he was dismissing his government. His concession, however, did little to douse public anger.

Dutton said the number of the people on the streets “increased after president Hosni Mubarak’s speech shortly after midnight”.

Regarding the situation in Cairo on Saturday morning, she said “there is broken glass everywhere … a lot of the burnt out shells of the police cars have been removed but you are aware that there were hours and hours of skirmishes on the streets of the capital city [last night]”.

Military vehicles have been seen patrolling the streets of the capital.

The ruling National Democratic Party’s headquarters in the capital is still ablaze, more than 12 hours after it was set alight by protesters.

The Egyptian army says that it has been able to secure the neighbouring museum of antiquities from the threat of fire and looting, averting the possible loss of thousands of priceless artefacts.

Armoured personnel carriers remain stationed around the British and US embassies, as well as at the state television station.

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Ronald Reagan’s 30-Year Time Bombs

From Consortium News:

The time element of “30 years” keeps slipping into American official reports and news stories about the origins of crises – the latest in “The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report” – but rarely is the relevance of the three-decade span explained, and there is a reason.

By Robert Parry
January 28, 2011

The failure to close the circle in saying who started the nation off on the path toward these disasters is because nearly everyone shies away from blaming Ronald Reagan for almost anything.

The overpowering consensus in Washington is that it’s political suicide to criticize the 40th president of the United States, whose centennial birthday on Feb. 6 will be celebrated elaborately.

It’s much safer to behave like MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews and simply accept that Reagan was “one of the all-time greats.”

But the truth is that Reagan’s current historical reputation rests more on the effectiveness of the Republican propaganda machine – and the timidity of many Democrats and media personalities – than on his actual record of accomplishments.

Indeed, many of today’s worst national and international problems can be traced to misjudgments and malfeasance from the Reagan years – from the swelling national debt to out-of-control banks, from the decline of the U.S. middle class to the inaction on energy independence, from the rise of Islamic fundamentalism to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

All of these disasters are part of the Reagan Legacy. Yet, possibly the most insidious residue from the Reagan Years was the concept of manipulating information – what some Reagan officials liked to call “perception management” – as a means of societal control.

In that endeavor, Reagan’s team took aim at two key entities – the CIA’s analytical division and the Washington press corps – with the realization that if the information produced and disseminated by those two groups could be controlled then the insider community of Washington and the broader American public could be managed.

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Marriage Equality Would Have Greater Positive Impact On My Life than ENDA

Tina and I have been together for ten years now, even though we didn’t start living together until 2002.  We talked on the phone for hours everyday during the first year we were together.

It took time to develop trust and overcome our own fears as we had both been badly hurt in other relationships.

Now we are two old lesbians, living in suburbia.  She is retired.  I work McJobs.

Now some would think it selfish on my part to prioritize marriage equality above ENDA.

I read ENDA Blog and others that are currently filled with a lot of anger towards the Gay and Lesbian Communities for their failure to focus on the issues of the Transgender Communities.

Most of the angry rants from the transgender Community always seem to omit the fact they came late to the party.  The modern Gay and Lesbian Movement is over 40 years old.  The movement to graft a “T” on the end is at best 20.

I am apathetic at best regarding so much of the Transgender Movement and at times I am down right hostile towards it.

I’ll be honest.  I despise the entire Virginia Prince based ideology of Transgender Inc and its hegemonic erasure  of post-transsexual women and men.  As a whole this movement seems manipulative and cultish.

I often feel that people I otherwise like are caught up in a cult like Scientology or Mormonism or something.  Talking with them is weird and the mind games are even weirder.

But back to marriage.  I think part of the disregard of the struggle for marriage equality is based in heterosexual privilege, as so many transgender people are either still in a marriage that was entered into as a heterosexual man and woman, or have used the birth certificate game.  Either way this leads to a lack of empathy towards gay and lesbian folks and their desire for the rights one can only obtain through marriage.

Those who are heterosexual after SRS become really upset when those of us who are lesbian or gay after SRS expect quid pro quo when it comes to our supporting their marriages.  That too is heterosexual privilege.

Sometimes this makes it seem as though much of the “Transgender Community” is made up of straight folks, which makes it feel sort of sketchy when Transgender Inc attacks Gays and Lesbians for acting in their own self interests.

The personal is political cuts both ways.  Over the years I have seen little support of the Gay and Lesbian Movement on the part of those involved in Transgender Inc.

That is if you subtract those of us who are post-transsexual lesbians and gay men.  And you really do have to subtract those of us who do not “identify as transgender” from the “Transgender Community”.

But back to those of us who have been part of the Gay and Lesbian world for the last 40 years.

We have watched our gay brothers die  in large numbers and have seen their long time partners devastated when the families swoop in like vultures and rip apart households.

I’ve seen elderly gay and lesbian couples who have been together 40-50 years and more separated because to the state they are legal strangers, while straight couples in a show of heterosexual privilege get honored by announcements of their having been married for so many years.

Wanting marriage equality isn’t elitist.

Saying we can get those same protections via legal documents is the elitist position when the difference in price between numerous legal documents and a marriage license can be  thousands of dollars.

But over and above that.

The expectations being place on ENDA seem  divorced from the reality of the present day working world.  We have a 17% real unemployment level.  I saw a statistic the other day that implied the majority of the American Work Force is either unemployed, part-time or employed at a level far below their education and experience.

You can thank the disaster started by Nixon and worsened by every President since with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter, who actually tried to get us on a saner path energy wise.

ENDA doesn’t have a chance on a national basis with the current House balance in the hands of the Republi-Nazis.

Neither does Marriage Equality but both these issues can be fought on a state by state basis and the struggle for Marriage Equality can also be fought in the courts.

At the same time it would probably aid the passage of a transgender inclusive ENDA were those in Transgender Inc to actually define in real language instead of post-modern psychobabble exactly who will be covered and the expectations on the part of both employers and potential employees.

Friday Night Fun and Culture

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Ugandan lesbian awaiting deportation fears for her safety

From The Guardian UK:

After the murder of gay activist David Kato, Brenda Namigadde, currently in Yarl’s Wood, says she fears her life is over

Karen McVeigh, Thursday 27 January 2011

Inside Yarl’s Wood detention centre, awaiting deportation to Uganda in less than 24 hours, Brenda Namigadde is desperate.

Namigadde fled her home country eight years ago after being persecuted for her relationship with another woman. She says she has always intended to return home when “things were better”. But things, she says, have just got worse.

After the murder of the gay Ugandan activist David Kato and with a chilling warning from Ugandan MP David Bahati ringing in her ears, she says she fears her life is over. Bahati, the author of a bill which would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, intervened in Namigadde’s case to warn her she should “repent” or be arrested on her return.

Speaking from Yarl’s Wood, Namigadde, 29, says: “My life is in danger. I don’t know what will happen to me. I’m very scared. I haven’t eaten, I haven’t slept.”

She knows from experience what returning to her country will mean for her, she says. “I’ll be tortured, or killed, if I’m sent back. They’ve put people like me to death there.”

Growing up as a devout Christian in a country where homosexuality is a crime, Namigadde says she was used to keeping her sexuality a secret from her family and her church and the wider community.

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There are various petitions to sign appealing sending this woman back to a place where she faces being murdered.

Never mind the role theocratic Christo-Nazis like Scott Lively have played in the instigation of the murder of gay and lesbian people.  It is immoral to deport people to a place where they faced being murdered for who they are.

There is little doubt that she will be put in mortal danger by these actions.

Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Beaten to Death

Posted on Jan 27, 2011

David Kato, a 43-year-old gay rights activist in Uganda, was murdered in his home near Kampala on Wednesday, less than four months after his picture was published in a Ugandan tabloid under the words “Hang Them” in a story about gays “recruiting” local schoolchildren.  —KA

The BBC’s Joshua Mmali, in Kampala, says it is unclear whether the death is linked to the Rolling Stone campaign but police have said there is no connection between Mr Kato’s activism and his death.

The police say that though they have arrested one suspect, the main suspect – who they say lived with Mr Kato – remains on the run.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, with punishments of 14 years in prison. An MP recently tried to increase the penalties to include the death sentence in some cases.

There has been a recent spate of “iron-bar killings” in Mukono, where Mr Kato lived, in which people have been assaulted with pieces of metal.

Witnesses have told the BBC that a man entered Mr Kato’s home near Kampala and beat him to death before leaving.

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Koch Brothers Feel the Heat In DC, as Broad Coalition Readies Creative Action to Quarantine the Billionaires Gathering in California Desert

From Alternet:

The news that justices Scalia and Thomas have attended Koch strategy sessions is adding to the growing buzz over a planned demonstration against the billionaires.

By Don Hazen

January 27, 2011 |

As the right-wing Koch brothers get ready for their billionaires’ strategy session in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 30, big questions are being raised in Washington about the Kochs’ relationship with radical conservative justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Charges of conflict-of-interest — particularly in the infamous Citizens United decision that opens the floodgates to anonymous corporate money in elections — have been raised by Common Cause. Both Scalia and Thomas have admitted, according to a newspaper in Palm Springs, to speaking at private dinners hosted by Kansas oil tycoon Charles Koch, who, along with his brother David, has funded a wide array of right-wing causes and spent many millions on behalf of right-wing candidates.

Common Cause, led by former congressional member Bob Edgar, with the irrepressible Robert Reich as chair of the board, has taken a leadership role in a broad, unprecedented coalition organizing the gathering and rally in the desert on Sunday. (Click here for information about the protest.) In addition to Common Cause, groups working the event range from the California Courage Campaign and California Nurses Association to the more rambunctious CodePink and the Ruckus Society. The broad coalition is testament to the fact that the Koch brothers, via dozens of fake groups and money funnels, have poured millions into efforts to undermine and block many issues important to a wide array of constituencies, including aging people, union members, environmentalists, and those fighting against corruption and for good government principles that enhance democratic processes. Especially infuriating to many were efforts to undermine campaign finance laws and unleash unlimited corporate money in elections via the Citizens United decision.

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Conversations Between Long-Time Post-Transsexual Friends

Living as a woman isn’t being a woman.

Becoming a woman after Sex Reassignment Surgery also takes time.

Being a woman in this world is dealing with the reality of having a cunt between your legs.  It isn’t an “identity” or a word game.

Pre-ops carry on about how it won’t make a difference, transgender people babble about how what’s between your legs doesn’t matter because “no one sees it” except for lovers.  What sort of level of self-deception is that?

Last night we had a conversation with a friend who is long time post-transsexual.  This morning I exchanged e-mails with another friend who is long time many years post-transsexual.

What do we talk about?

We spend some time conversing about how the whole transgender trip is undermining our lives by lumping us in with those pushing the ideology of Virginia Prince.

But that is only a small portion of what we talk about.

Just like issues regarding transsexualism and the semi-hostile relationship with the oppressive transgender paradigm are really only part of this blog.

Like this blog we spent more time discussing the chaos of the economy and the threat posed by the ultra-right wing crazies running the world.

But we also talk about getting older, our health problems.

But we also talk about the music and art we enjoy.  The authors we like and how the corporatizing of everything affects the arts.

Mostly though our conversations are about dozens of things besides the matter of sharing a common experience of having had sex reassignment surgery many years ago.

Our lives, lived long after the operation that differentiates us from transgender people with their obsession with identity and word games aimed at convincing other they are really women, though male.

The funny thing is how we are never given credit by those who claim it is just the same, yet haven’t had the experience for having actually experienced both.

Wisdom can come from experience and physical reality trumps identity in the reality based world.

Abortion Doesn’t Increase Mental Health Risk, But Having A Baby Does

From The Huffington Post:

January 26. 2011

LOS ANGELES — Having an abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems, but having a baby does, one of the largest studies to compare the aftermath of both decisions suggests.

The research by Danish scientists further debunks the notion that terminating a pregnancy can trigger mental illness and shows postpartum depression to be much more of a factor.

Abortion in Denmark has been legal since 1973 – the same year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, which established a right to abortion.

The Danish study included 365,550 teenagers and women who had an abortion or first-time delivery between 1995 and 2007. None had a history of psychiatric problems that required hospitalization. Through various national registries, researchers were able to track mental health counseling at a hospital or outpatient facility before and after an abortion or delivery.

During the study period, 84,620 had an abortion while 280,930 gave birth.

Researchers compared the rate of mental health treatment among women before and after a first abortion. Within the first year after an abortion, 15 per 1,000 women needed psychiatric counseling – similar to the rate seeking help nine months before an abortion.

Researchers say women who seek abortions come from a demographic group more likely to have emotional problems to begin with. Statistics show that a large percentage struggle economically and they have above-average rates of unintended pregnancies.

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Egypt’s Internet Shut Down, According To Reports

Ireland, France, Spain, Great Britain, Greece Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and so many other places have had massive demonstrations, riots and revolutions the last two months that it sort of feels like the Masters of the Universe might be whistling on the gallows when they stand there and tell us things will be alright.  That we aren’t really in a depression and in fact the “recession” is over.

Maybe it is for them but a world where a tiny minority controls most of the wealth is an inherently unstable world and as the Kris Kristofferson song says, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing else to lose.”

Taking away people’s jobs, homes and leaving them struggling to survive puts their backs against the wall and no amount of Super Bowls, Glen Beck or fussy pictures of Brittany Spears will be enough spectacle to distract them from their misery.

What I can’t understand is the right wing’s desire to keep ramping up the misery.

From Huffington Post:

January 27, 2011

Reports are emerging that Internet has gone down in Cairo and throughout Egypt, only hours before the largest planned protests yet.

According to a report from The Arabist, “Egypt has shut off the internet.”

Multiple Internet Service Providers are affected according to the report, which states:

I just received a call from a friend in Cairo (I won’t say who it is now because he’s a prominent activist) telling me neither his DSL nor his USB internet service is working. I’ve just checked with two other friends in different parts of Cairo and their internet is not working either.

The news of the Internet outage came minutes after the Associated Press published a video of an Egyptian protestor being shot.

CNN reporter Ben Wedeman confirmed Internet is down in Cairo and writes, “No internet, no SMS, what is next? Mobile phones and land lines? So much for stability. #Jan25 #Egypt”

The Los Angeles Times is also reporting that BlackBerry Internet has been taken offline in Egypt.

UPDATE (7:05 p.m. ET) Reuters confirms “major network disruptions” for Egypt Internet users at this time, with reports in Cairo that there is no Internet altogether. A top state official declined to comment.

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