Fighting the 5 Fascisms in Wisconsin and Ohio

From Common Dreams:

by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis

Published on Monday, February 21, 2011 by

The escalating confrontations in Wisconsin and Ohio are ultimately about preventing the United States from becoming a full-on fascist state.

The stakes could not be higher—or more clear.

As defined by its inventor, Benito Mussolini, fascism is “corporate control of the state.” There are ways to beat around the Bush—Paul Krugman has recently written about “oligarchy”—but it’s time to end all illusions and call what we now confront by its true name.

The fights in Wisconsin, Ohio, and in numerous other states are about saving the last shreds of American democracy. They burn down to five basic realities:

1) The bulwark of modern democracy is the trade union. This has been true since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. All social programs can trace their roots to union activism, as can the protection of our civil liberties.

The first Germans Hitler put in concentration camps were neither Jews nor gypsies—they were trade unionists.

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Taliban Christian Leader Teaches Women Should Submit to Husbands — Victims of His “Submission Theology” Speak Out

Truth: The right wing listeners of Beck, Limbaugh, savage etc can’t handle the truth, which is there is almost no difference between the way they think about women and the way fundie Muslims think about women.  Both are misogynistic and rotten to the core.

No gods, No masters.

From Alternet:–_victims_of_his_%22submission_theology%22_speak_out/

The cultish Evangelical leader Bill Gothard espouses a theology that tells men to rule over their families, and for wives and kids to submit entirely, no matter the circumstances.

By Sarah Posner

February 21, 2011 |

Bill Gothard is intent on defending himself. He’s speaking with me by telephone from the Northwoods Conference Center in Watersmeet, Michigan, where he spends every January “for study and writing and reflecting and fasting.” The controversial 76-year-old evangelist wants to explain away the “distortions” of his critics, and why, he insists, that widely-discussed “Taliban Dan” ad had it all wrong.

In the ad (run last fall by congressional candidate Daniel Webster’s Democratic opponent), the Florida Republican is shown speaking at an Advanced Training Institute conference — part of Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles, the $95 million nonprofit the evangelist founded in 1965 that boasts it has educated millions, including public officials, around the world at its conferences, in homeschool curricula, and in prisons. Webster is shown saying, “wives submit yourselves to your own husband” and “she should submit to me, that’s in the Bible.”

After the ad ran, Webster countered — and watchdogs and the media largely accepted — that Grayson had taken his words out of context and distorted their meaning. Still, though, Webster never denied that he believed wives should submit to the spiritual authority of their husbands. That there is a “chain of command” that families must obey has been at the core of Gothard’s teachings for decades.

Gothard insisted to me (in direct contradiction to materials on his own website) that he does not teach submission. When I asked Gothard whether he teaches that wives should submit to their husbands’ authority, he laughed, answering, “no, no,” adding, that Jesus taught “he who is the greatest among you be the servant of all. That makes the woman the greatest of all because she has served every single person in the world by being in her womb.”

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Tribute to Rachael Webb…

From Fiona Fox’s Tales

Reposted with Permission:

Another Version is running at TS-SI:

By Fiona Fox:
Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Today Rachael’s daughter Leila telephoned me to tell me that Rachael had taken her own life last week. To say I was upset by this news is a bit of an understatement.

Rachael Webb was one of my heroines, a comrade and a friend. She described herself as a Marxist Atheist so with me as a Christian Anarchist we had plenty to talk about and we did. I have a series of emails, that I treasure, that passed between us that make me smile now I’ve reread them as we had a lot of intellectual differences but then again so much in common.

That she chose the time and manner of her death was not a sign of weakness but of great strength. Rachael like myself believed in the importance of control of your own destiny and she did that in situations way beyond those that I have had to face and I respected her greatly for that ability. She was an inspiration to me.

Rachael spoke her mind and told the truth something that those she crossed swords with had to recognise though often begrudgingly. She was a true revolutionary that stuck to her principles and beliefs and I was proud that we were on the same side.

My only regret is that I didn’t know her better or spend more time with her as every time we spoke I learnt from her wisdom. She rang me at Christmas and again just a few weeks ago and yes she told me that she was contemplating her demise but I never thought she’d do it and now having reflected on it I know that once she’d decided that was what was going to happen no one on this Earth could have stopped her.

I don’t want to dwell on her death though she lived an amazing life and I’m going to carry a great memory of someone it was a privilege to call a friend.

Her daughter Leila is going to organise a Tribute Meeting in Brixton, sometime in May as Rachael being Rachael left strict instructions regarding no memorial services. Rachael is not dead, in my mind, as I know her soul survives though she’d hate me writing that. But anyway Rachael I raise my glass to you and say I told you so! LOL It was a pleasure to meet and get to know the spirit that inhabited the body. Rachael Webb was a very special lady.

I’ll end this tribute by reprinting an unedited email from Rachael to me in which she talks about her life and times. It is so typical of her and for those who didn’t know her it might shed some light on why this lady was one of my heroines…

Hi Maggie

There is so much in your email that I want to hold a dialogue on:

You say “not sure why I am telling you all this”. Well as far as I am concerned ideas are what people are all about, I know I was labelled a lot of rather insulting things by psychiatrists and psychologists over this, I must admit I could never understand why Albert Camus’s anti-hero in “The Outsider” was labelled a psychopath? Very significant and the reason why … Oh best forget all about the psychologists and psychiatrists for my own peace of mind and almost all are more than average boring?

“Gender Identity Clinic” staff/psychiatrists as Charlatans?

Yes, I get quite angry about this, you are right I am sure. Maybe we should pathologise* them for a change? unless they do what they do because they can’t earn a living doing anything else, (could any of them drive a 40 tone truck between here and Alicante without looking at a map? or make biscuits?), I think they must be on a power trip?

*(Ronnie Laing who I was a patient of, (Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise) for a time when I lived in Brixton once said something about, “Saints may still be kissing lepers, it’s about time lepers started kissing saints”.

Of course I “transitioned”, (don’t like the word but I can’t think of another), in 1981/2, over a quarter of a Centurary ago and assume I am older than you? (dob 1940), and I didn’t have to go through the so called “real life test”, but the idea that they have control over who and when has female hormones, (or male hormones), appals me. Why? what does it achieve? Who are they “protecting” from what? Just who is going to take female hormones if they were available over the counter at Boots? (You can get them on the internet anyway).

Which man is going to take female hormones unless they are transsexual? I can remember a truck driver who I was in bed with, (that’s enough of the salacious stuff), and my hormone patch became dislodged and stuck on him, I laughed when I saw it and just for fun told him what it might do to him, he became quite agitated, either unfortunately or fortunately almost all other men would have a similar reaction? No “normal” (I don’t think there is such a beast) man would even dream of taking hormones like hrt so what do psychiatrists achieve by playing god and deciding who should and should not get them?

Nietzsche once said, (bearing in mind he was brilliant and also a self centred egotistical male), “there is no such thing as knowledge only power, no such thing as truth only will”. Of course he was speaking objectively, he wasn’t saying “this is how I want it to be”, he was only saying “this is how it is”; and psychiatrists at gic’s are a very good example. I do sometimes wonder whether they get off on tranvestic fantasies? Maybe they lack the imagination to know what being transsexual could be like, but as the numbers of men who practise some sort of transvestism is quite large, (apparently), maybe they assume that all transsexual people are tranvestic and try to make their patients conform with their own limited imaginations?

When I confronted my basic transsexuality I didn’t have to jump through those ridiculous hoops because gic’s hadn’t been invented, I just went along to my GP and obtained hormone prescriptions. I won’t bore you with my life history but they produced changes in my body, if I had not been tsp then I would have found those changes uncomfortable and stopped taking them, as it was I knew it was “for me” and persevered.

In the 1980’s talking things over with a friend we decided that a tsp from our early times when we were still young, (I didn’t approve of the person concerned, she was a leading member of a NAZI organisation), but it doesn’t alter what she said which was that really being tsp meant you had to do 4 things:

1) Alter your body shape (by taking hormones)
2) Alter your body hair from male type to female type (by electrolysis or laser or what ever)
3) Alter your voice (speech therapy)
4) Alter you genitals from male to female (with surgery)

Of course I object totally to this persons politics but cannot fault her observation on what is involve in being ts? It is only psychiatrists and other prejudiced people who make so much of it? What do you think of the “four points”?

At my age I can’t help but observe that generally things are better now, when I was a teenager, (London 1950’s), and spent my youth in Soho in various clubs and bars on the existential and gay scenes, (we took drugs, made love and listened to Edith Piaff and also west coast jazz and we discussed Sartre, Camus, Kafka, Simone de Beauvoir etc), we could get put in prison for gay sex, in some ways there wasn’t even a word for “transsexual” so I was totally excluded, even from the society in which I mixed, as for the suburb in which I grew up in, I may as well have come from Mars I suppose. Well, things are better now, I must face up to that and be glad for it.

I knew I was transsexual when I was six years old, my experiences are more normal amongst tsp’s than I ever thought. I’m not rambling back in time for the sake of it, I want to establish what is and what is not so we can try to grasp the right questions about the political tasks we approach, even if we cannot think of the right answers.

One thing strikes me is that we mustn’t assume progress is inevitable, it isn’t. I don’t know a lot about it but for example, I understand that the Weimer Republic was tolerant towards the lesbian and gay scene, then thousands or more people like you and me were killed in concentration camps by the third Reich, we can go backwards and we could well do so, we can also go forwards, the marxist in me says that the only thing we cannot do is stay in the same situation we are in now?

I might have been able to get hormones on demand but the rest was often unpleasant due to there being far more prejudice. Of course I was involved in politics, I was a member of Militant, (the RSL), and an active member of the Labour Party and the T&G. I had some positions in the labour Movement where I lived in King’s Lynn and am afraid I had to put up with a hell of a lot of prejudice, particularly from some people in the T&G. In some ways I want to put that to one side, I moved to Brixton as “Rachael Webb” in 1983 and took part in Peter Tatchell’s election campaign in Bermondsey, Simon Hughes played a disgraceful role in whiping up prejudice against Peter Tatchell, I knew him slightly at the time, and he has since said “that’s history” so if he can say that then so can I.

I’ll always remember one leading T&G member in King’s Lynn who was supportative of me, (there were quite a few), Bill Davidson, who was an ex Durham Coal Miner and former squaddie, he had trade unionism in his guts and he stood by me as a true friend and Comrade, I’ll always be grateful to him and to others.

The reason I’m going into this is about the situation of tsp’s and how it has developed over the last 25 years. I made the mistake of joining the only available tsp organisation which was called the Self Help Association For Transsexuals, (think of the initials and cringe), it was as reactionary and right wing as the initials suggest, the leading member was a former wealthy business person and Senior Army Officer called Judy Cousins. They expelled me for my left wing feminist views.

I think that both Christine Burns and Stephen Whittle will agree that I was the principle person who stood up for a position of transsexual people within a position which accounted for both feminism and the emerging lesbian and gay political scene, including “sexual politics” etc. I was elected as a Councillor in Lambeth and had a job as a Housing Officer in Southwark and of course the media looked on me as some sort of gift from Sun/Mail heaven, they did me over when ever there wasn’t much on the news. I developed media skills, I remember a media course I went on with Diane Abbot and Scarlet McGuire, the lessons I learnt are ones the Press Office of the T&G still tell me to observe: only ever say 3 things when you give a radio or tv interview, keep the three things simple because listeners/viewers can’t absorb anything more, say them over and over again what ever questions you are asked – end of lesson. It works, just look at the next tv interview of any politician you see and you will see that that is the ABC of media relations, even after all these years.

Anyway, I became drained by fighting and fighting and by always being sort of available for public inspection. I will never ever forget the first time I was “doorsteped” by a Fleet Street photographer, I could have grabbed his camera and thrown it over a hedge but I knew I had to “grin and bear it”, it gets to you in the end.

In some ways I was glad when Christine Burns, who was a member of the Conservative Party stood up at a Tory Party Conference, and for no reason that she can think of, as far as I know, talked about her being tsp, (everyone else in the Tatton Conservative Party Business women’s group, of which she was Chair) thought she was a “normal” Tory business woman, so I will always be grateful to her. Stephen Whittle was as far as I know what used to be called a “Euro-Com” after Gramcsci et al. He and Christine and other, fortunately, left wing younger people than me took up the challenge.

They worked with Dr Lynn Jones MP, (I know her now through the LRC, why don’t you contact her, she is from your part of the world – details ) and so the GRC was duly passed on my 64th birthday I think it was.

IN 1994 I had become, as I said, fed up with local government and all that went with it, I became nostalgic about my life as a truck driver so I moved to Brighton, bought a 38 tonne truck and went trucking in Europe. What a culture shock, the world of Inner City London Labour Parties to being an international freight driver, it was bad enough being a woman in a man’s world, I never breathed a word about being transsexual, the blokes had problems with accepting the few women doing international trucking, let alone being a tsp. Tell you more about it sometime. Well just one thing:

When you look at my photo on “page 3” you will see I am behind Maureen Byrne who was Equalities Officer for Region 1 of the T&G. She gave a talk on Equality issues to our RTC Committee which consists of 17 male truckers and me, a number of them never knew, and in arrangement with her I talked about being tsp, she said afterwards that she studied their faces and said that some of them obviously had difficulty in taking it in but that most of them came round to a reasonable position. Interesting. Glad things have improved and they have, but as I said above we cannot assume they will carry on doing so.

Anyway, yes, I agree with you on a lot of points and disagree with you on some, but on the important issues we are totally together and have everything to gain and nothing to lose by organising together.


Rachael Webb

So here is my letter to the Prime Minister — just to help the process along 21 January 2011

To: The Right Honorable David Cameron M.P.
Prime Minister
#10 Downing Street
Westminster, London

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to ask you to correct a serious misrepresentation by the former Labour Government that has cost the National Health Service dear and caused unnecessary difficulties to those who correct their assigned birth sex and has the potential to now cost employers even more.

It does not require legislation but it does require leadership from you.

People who correct their birth sex have full legal protection in employment from the inclusion of “intention to undergo gender reassignment”, full protection in terms of goods and services and most importantly full protection in their corrected sex in terms of the Gender Recognition Act.

We have no further needs in terms of legislation.

The problem is the Trans Lobby and their Queer political agenda which will cost employers & Government dearly if the definitions within their Gender Theory were adopted.

Sex and Gender are seen as interchangeable words by ordinary people and common sense says they are but what has happened under Labour is the creation of a costly psychiatric empire in the National Health Service — Gender Identity Clinics (GIC) designed to treat transvestites (now renamed transgender).

People who correct their sex either avoid these clinics or “play a game” to obtain access to state funded surgery.

With the magnificent NHS reforms you are implementing the relationship now becomes potentially vastly improved Patient — GP — surgeon.

There should be no exceptions for those who wish to physically correct their sex and it is the surgeon that should decide on the terms of acceptance for surgery to protect themselves from legal action for carrying out a patientʼs request. The request for surgery being protected by the Mental Capacity Act.

Closing all Gender Identity Clinics saves the NHS £millions. That this is justified is easy to spot given the huge difference between the number of transgender men claimed by the Trans / Queer lobby and the real measured issue of corrected birth certificates.

To make this happen so that employers are not faced with spurious discrimination claims from cross dressing men must become a priority as employment means income and choice and that is what someone who corrects their sex wants.

Someone who corrects their sex wants to be an integrated and contributing member of society not classified as transgender with an incurable mental illness.

They do not want Queer or Trans lobby groups to represent them and use a bogus theory of perceptions to damage the process of integration. Gender theory discriminates against all women.

I respectfully ask that:

  1. Your Government restates that correcting birth sex is not a mental illness.
  2. Your Government instructs the Gender Recognition Panel to immediately grant a corrected birth certificate, if requested, to anyone who removes the capability to reproduce in their original birth sex.
  3. Your Government instruct all Departments & Agencies including the NHS and Local Authorities to never refer to someone who has corrected their sex as trans or transgender.

Most people who correct their sex want to chose their surgeon & hospital and are prepared to pay for that choice. If HM Government is legally obliged by European Law to refund the cost of an operation that permanently corrects the physical problems associated with the sex of the  brain being incongruent with the body then funding should be direct to the surgeon from the GP.

I repeat no legislation is required just leadership and implementation of what we have to protect everyone from bogus Gender Theory.

Thank you for what I know you will do to improve the lives of the people of our great nation.

Yours sincerely,

Maggie Fiona Fox

Help wanted: no jobless need apply

From People’s World:

February 18 2011

Unemployment has hovered at 10 percent for months, yet employers around the country are refusing to hire the jobless.

Such refusals lead to racial, gender and disability discrimination, according to testimony given to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Feb. 16.
Christine Owens of the National Employment Law Project told the EEOC that numerous listings for jobs included such phrases as “not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of reason,” “must be currently employed” or other restrictive phrases.

Owens said jobless restrictions may violate the civil rights of “older workers, workers of color, women” or others — like veterans or the disabled — protected under federal employment laws. Federal anti-discrimination law includes prohibitions on intentional discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, color, religion, age, and disability.

The jobless as a group are not protected. However, by excluding the unemployed, employers may be violating equal protection laws because long-term joblessness affects women, African Americans and others disproportionately, according to expert testimony.

Recent data shows that jobless women are more likely to be unemployed for 27 weeks or longer than their male counterparts, says Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women’s Law Center. Older workers, especially women, are particularly vulnerable to jobless restrictions.

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It sometimes seems to me that transsexual and transgender folks often fail to take into account the sexism that runs rampant in the work place.  Much of the discrimination faced by WBTs as well as TG women is just plain old fashioned sexism that expects women to work for less, be stupid and ornimental as well as sex objects.  this multiplies other factors such as age (bad) as well as weight and appearance.

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Fed Up Americans Run First-Ever Anti-Afghanistan-War TV Ad

From Michael Moore’s Blog:

Robert Greenwald Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.
February 17th, 2011

This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Americans of all ideological persuasions are fed up with the Afghanistan War. We’re fed up with a $5.7 billion-per-month military campaign that’s gone nowhere over the past 12 months. We’re fed up with being told we’ll have to do without vital public services because of the sorry state of our national finances, while at the same time our politicians are spending $2 billion a year to police a dusty Afghan town called Marjah. But most of all, we’re tired of the song-and-dance from officials who think they can spin a year full of ugly setbacks as “progress.” We know better.

We’re so fed up, in fact, that over the past week, with the help of Brave New Foundation’s Rethink Afghanistan campaign, several hundred ordinary Americans pooled their resources in an online fundraising drive and picked three everyday people to star in the first-ever anti-Afghanistan-War TV ad. The ad has run all this week in Washington, D.C. on CNN to get make sure politicians know we want our troops brought home–because it’s time.

For months, public opinion polls have been very clear on Americans’ opposition to the Afghanistan War. This past week, Gallup’s latest poll showed that 72 percent of Americans want Congress to act this year to speed up troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. This support cuts across ideological lines, with strong majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents wanting Congress to rein in the war. And yet, somehow, President Obama and Congress persist in requesting and approving funds to keep this war going long past a time period acceptable to most of their constituents.

What will it take to get policy-makers’ attention to the fact that the war isn’t making us safer and isn’t worth the cost? The worst year for U.S. troop deaths ever so far in the war? Check. The worst year for civilian casualties? Check. The highest annual cost of the war so far? Check. We could throw in 9 percent unemployment at home, an economic crisis, and deficit hysteria at home as well. There’s simply no justification for continuing to spend almost $6 billion a month on a futile, brutal war while cutting programs that keep people from freezing in the winter.

Take, for example, one of the hardest hit cities in the new economy: Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit metropolitan area has an unemployment rate of more than 11 percent. But this year alone, taxpayers in Detroit will pay $180.4 million for the war. WIth that same amount of money, Detroit could have hired 2,523 elementary school teachers, 3,435 firefighters, or 2,815 cops for a year. Our communities here in the U.S. are suffering in a terrible economic vise. When do we stop wasting money on this futile war and start getting serious about getting American back on its feet?

Some Members of Congress, thankfully, do hear the voices of their constituents. Today, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and a bipartisan set of cosponsors introduced the Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act, a bill designed to force the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. And, many of these elected officials spent the week working to restrict funding for war during the debate over the continuing resolution to fund the government. They face an uphill fight in a Capitol awash with war industry lobbying dollars, but every time they take a vote, they’re building on the last roll call, expanding the number of people willing to stand up and say, “enough.”

That’s why we helped run the first-ever anti-Afghanistan-War ad on TV in Washington, D.C. this week: to support the efforts of public servants willing to cast the tough votes, and to tell our politicians we want our troops brought home–because it’s time.

If you’re fed-up with this war that’s not making us safer and that’s not worth the costs, join Rethink Afghanistan on Facebook and Twitter.

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Exclusive: Troopers would ‘absolutely’ use force on Wisc. protesters if ordered, police union president tells Raw

This is why an unarmed society is a slave society.  Thomas Jefferson and others understood when they wrote the Constitution, there could come a time when tyranny might arise in the United States, and without the ability on the part of the citizen to meet force with force, the citizen would be subjected to the whims of the oligarchs who control the police and armies.

From Raw Story:

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, February 21st, 2011

But: ‘That would not be something I recognize as the United States of America,’ state patrol inspector adds

Amid the largest protests Madison, Wisconsin has seen in decades, newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker last week issued a stark message to public labor unions occupying the capitol building: we have options, and using the National Guard against protesters is among them.

Since then, a myrad of rumors have circulated through crowds gathered at the state capitol, united in protest of a bill that would strip public unions of their collective bargaining rights. One rumor, which had not yet come to pass, even suggested that like Egypt’s former dictator did in Tahrir Square, Gov. Walker may call in police to forcibly clear out the capitol.

And according to a Wisconsin police union president, whether the police agree or disagree with their governor’s politics, they would “absolutely” carry out any order given to them … even if that order included using force against their fellow Americans gathered in peaceful protest.

That’s the message from Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (WLEA) executive board president Tracy Fuller, who’s organization recently issued a statement condemning the governor’s attempt to strip public unions of their collective bargaining rights. Fuller is also a Wisconsin State Patrol inspector.

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This is the definition of “The Good German”.  Obedience to authority above all.

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Putting Ourselves First

Monica Roberts has an entry on her blog “Putting Ourselves First” about how Transgender folks should put transgender priorities first.

At the same time post-transsexual women and men are called elitist for putting themselves first.

The assumption of the Transgender Borg Collective is that our interests are the same as the full time transgender folks or even further from any commonality the occasional TV/CD/DQ’s interests in life.

I see this as identity politics run amok. Being part of the alphabet soup of LGBT/TQ etc makes more sense. as does being part of the working class left and the feminist movement.

I have a hard time with the expectation that I support the entire range of personality types that make up transgender.  I’m not “gender variant”, I’m not transgender.  I don’t “identify as a woman”, I am a woman because I am an adult female.  I don’t “identify as transsexual”.  transsexualism is something I underwent medical procedures to treat, it is part of my medical history and life experiences.

ENDA, bathroom, presentation, gender this gender that, yadayada is just so much transbabble to me. Get your surgery and STFU.  In reality I care more about the ERA thanENDA. Yeah I support ENDA, but it isn’t the major or main cause of my life at this point.

As people who read this blog can probably surmise.  I don’t hate transgender folks, although I get really pissed off by the forcible inclusiveness that feels like exploitation.  Transgender folks get my support not based on their arguments but based on their humanity and my belief in justice and equality.

At the same time, many post-transsexual women are far less willing than I am to overlook the exploitation by the Transgender Borg Collective, who often seem to base their legitimacy on claims they are just like those of us who get SRS.

I’m more interested in the lesbian rights cause and feminism than I am in Transgender Issues.  I am more oppressed as a woman than I am because of my medical history.  I am more oppressed as a lesbian than I am because of my medical history.

I am more oppressed by class than I am by my medical history.  Misogyny and red baiting are more problematic for me than transgender issues.

I feel more a part of the left wing, more connected with workers in Wisconsin than with the lobbying going on in Maryland.

When Monica writes about “putting ourselves first” and linking that unflinchingly with the transgender cause I have to admire her clarity. I don’t mean that in a snotty way.  I’ve been involved in various left wing movements for nearly 50 years now and still have to deal with where I should place my priorities, which is why my positions tend to define me as a left wing activist rather than say a feminist or anti war activist or Earth First activist.

Identity politics has been both a boon and a bane.  Identity politics have nurtured fledgling movements and grown them and at the same time have been at odds with the development of a general left wing movement to counter the rise of the neo-Nazi right wing extremists and their Taliban Christian allies.

I guess, “putting ourselves first”, first requires us to decide who “Ourselves” are.

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Researchers: Earth will be ‘unrecognizable’ by 2050

Of course Transgender Inc would have me think the most important issue in the world is being part of their Borg Collective and focusing on getting laws passed so the most casual CD can use the women’s room.  Actually I’m willing to support ENDA.  I just require a consistent gender presentation and note from a doctor you are transitioning and are taking hormones.  Other than that if you are recognized by the state via government issued ID then that’s the ID you get to use.

Mean while back at the raunch… as we used to say, North Africa and the Middle East is showing signs of sweeping revolution.  We are past the tipping point with Green House Gases, the shit is going to hit the fan when the permafrost thaws.  Oh and it turns out Malthus and Paul Ehrlich were right we should have started with zero population growth when we were at 1-2 billion people because the planet can not support as many people as we have on it now.

We need to institute China’s one child only policy as a universal and we are probably already too late.

400 people in the USA have greater combined wealth than the combined wealth of the bottom 100 million people.

Happy fucking President’s Day…  I’m glad I’m old.

From Raw Story:

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, February 21st, 2011

WASHINGTON — A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” if current trends continue, Clay said.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years — tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations — and add more strain to global food supplies.

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Frank Mocks GOP ‘Orgy Of Self-Congratulation’

I hear a lot of people involved in transgender Inc. bad mouth Barney Frank.  I love him for being an out spoken left wing Democrat of the sort that I wish we had more of instead of the mealy mouthed cowards and sellouts like Obama.

Oh that our party was completely made up of the unabashed representatives of the people instead of Democans and Republicrats representing the corporations and the rich 400 who had more wealth than the bottom 100 million people in this country.

From Talking Points Memo:

Brian Beutler
February 18, 2011

House Republicans are on the cusp of passing legislation that would slash federal spending dramatically over the next six months, and they’ve larded it up with extraneous riders, which would undermine many of President Obama’s accomplishments.

That sounds terrible, but on the bright side it gave Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) a chance to unload on the GOP’s “orgy of self-congratulation.”

“Mr. Speaker, I guess I am the dissenter in this orgy of self-congratulation and I want to explain why,” Frank said in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Frank called it inappropriate to “debate the whole government and to debate fundamental policy issues under the guise of a budget, under the constraints of a budget debate, in not a whole week — two and a half days so far, maybe we’ll get a third day.”

Included among the items Republicans have attacked: Frank’s Wall Street reform law. In particular, they’ve curtailed funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which needs over $100 million to staff up in its early days.

Continue reading and view video at: Beutler

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The ‘Right to Work’ – Now Available in a Junior Edition

From The Daily Kos:

Jake McIntyre for Daily Kos


As detailed in teacherken’s recommended diary yesterday, Missouri state Senator Jane Cunningham has introduced a bill to eliminate child labor laws. In the state of Missouri. In the United States of America. In 2011. The AFL-CIO blog elaborates:

[L]et’s just use the official summary of the bill from the Missouri state Senate website and if you don’t believe me, click here and read it yourself.

  • This act modifies the child labor laws.
  • It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen.
  • Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed.
  • It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed.
  • Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished.
  • It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ.
  • It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.

This is absolutely insane.

Is it really that insane, though? I mean, this is just the natural evolution of a political philosophy which believes that rich people should be able to pay their employees nothing and treat them like beasts of burden. And in Missouri — a state where, as Laura Clawson detailed earlier this week, a “right to work” (or, more accurately, “free-rider”) bill prohibiting employers from entering into union security agreements with labor unions has a reasonable chance of passing — it should hardly be surprising that Republicans are seeking to give children the “right” to work 40 hour weeks during the school year.

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Libya on brink as protests hit Tripoli

Tunisia, Egypt, now Libya.  People seem rather unhappy with the oligarchs and masters of the universe.  Could we be seeing the end to dictatorship?  Could we get back our own country from the rich oligarchs, the corporations, bankers and Wall Street Masters of the Universe?

From The Guardian:

Muammar Gaddafi’s son warns of civil war in state television address as regime tries to halt uprising

Ian Black, Middle East editor
The Guardian, Monday 21 February 2011

Muammar Gaddafi‘s son went on Libyan TV to defend his father’s 41-year rule of Libya as protests spread to the capital Tripoli.

The most violent scenes so far of the wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world were seen as Gaddafi relied on brute force to crush what began last week as peaceful protests but now threaten his regime.

After a bloody crackdown that saw troops and mercenaries shooting unarmed demonstrators in the country’s second city of Benghazi, the death toll rose to more than 230.

BBC Arabic reported automatic gunfire and teargas in the capital for the first time since the unrest began.

But the regime went on the attack when Saif al-Islam appeared on state TV to say it was a “tragedy” that Libyans had died but warned of “civil war” unless order was restored.

“There is a plot against Libya,” said Saif, blaming “an Islamic group with a military agenda” for the bloodshed in Benghazi.

Libya would see “rivers of blood”, an exodus of foreign oil companies and occupation by “imperialists” if the violence continued, he said.

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