Class War: Can the rich get richer while the poor get poorer?

Budget Woes, Class Wars

From Against The Current:  http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/3260

May/June 2011

— The Editors

THE FULL FRONTAL assault on public workers and their unions in one state after another — stripping collective bargaining rights and dues checkoff, slashing wages and pensions and health benefits, abolishing seniority and tenure for teachers, mandating yearly decertification votes, threatening jail terms for strikers — is as massive and instantaneous as it was unexpected by the labor bureaucracy and many union members. To say “the class war is back” is an understatement. It’s an authentic firestorm sucking the oxygen from labor rights, from Wisconsin to Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and other states.

In an act of symbolic vandalism, Maine’s governor proposes has removed the mural depicting the state’s labor history and will purge the name of Frances Perkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal-era Secretary of Labor, from the state’s labor department building. In Wisconsin and Michigan, neo-McCarthyite rightwingers are demanding “Freedom of Information” mass disclosures of pro-labor university faculty’s email messages.

Some state struggles are covered in this issue of Against the Current, and Kim Moody’s essay “Wisconsin and Beyond” sets out the background. Even a brief summary is impossible to give here. In our home state of Michigan alone, 40 anti-labor laws have been enacted or are pending. Those already passed through the Republican-dominated legislature and signed by governor Rick “smart nerd” Snyder include “Emergency Manager” statutes giving state-appointed managers license to eliminate union contracts and even dissolve the elected governing bodies of financially distressed school districts and entire municipalities.

Republican domination of state legislatures also gives the right wing power over Congressional redistricting following the 2010 census, and control of the means of electoral fraud and vote suppression — a potentially critical factor in the 2012 elections, as illustrated by the events of Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. In Wisconsin’s just-completed Supreme Court election, the post-count ”discovery” of thousands of votes to overturn the result is a sign of what to expect.

The scale of the empowered right wing’s war on labor and the poor, always under the lying pretext that “the state is broke,” provokes several questions for consideration. We can’t necessarily give definitive answers, but we’ll offer some ideas in hopes of provoking discussion.

Continue reading at:   http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/3260

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Photographs of the Stonewall Riots

You tell me how many “queens” and transgender folks you see…

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/08/jack-layton-new-democratic-party

Jack Layton’s New Democrats have come from nowhere to challenge the ruling Conservatives

Ed Vulliamy in Toronto
The Observer, Sunday 8 May 2011

There is a buzz, even in the rainswept air along Danforth Avenue, as lunchtime drinkers emerge from the Fox and Fiddle and mothers collect their children from the Holy Name Catholic school. This is the “riding”, or constituency, of Toronto Danforth, parliamentary seat of the man who lost the Canadian federal election, Jack Layton.

So why the buzz? Because within that defeat was victory of sorts: Layton’s New Democratic party was the phenomenon of the week, coming from nowhere to become the new official opposition and redraw the political map of Canada.

Layton’s NDP is a combative socialist alliance of unions, disaffected middle classes, former communists, immigrants and industrial workers. “Yeah, so he didn’t win,” says Ben Forbes, an electrician, buying his train ticket to work the late shift at Pape station, “but he did better than we dared think he would.”

“This is like a popular part of town,” says Maura Beckett, pushing her twins through Withrow Park, “where we vote for Jack and keep voting for him until he’s prime minister.”

It is fitting, somehow, that these constituencies are called ridings – more English than England, in a Commonwealth city that looks like the American midwest but sports the crown of Windsor on licence plates and freeway signs, and her majesty on a C$20 bill.

But the political climate is now singularly Canadian: across these ridings, the country returned to what feels like good, old-fashioned punch-up politics.

The clear victor is the incumbent prime minister, Stephen Harper, who heads a Conservative overall majority reminiscent of that enjoyed by Margaret Thatcher in the mother country. Harper, in his victory speech, insisted that he would form “a government for all Canadians”, speaking like a one-nation Tory, but he knows that Canada is now bitterly divided along ideological lines, rather than the usual linguistic, geographical or demographic issues, thanks to Layton’s NDP.

Though born and raised in Quebec, Layton began his life as a career politician in Danforth, doubling the NPD’s vote in the city during his first year as party leader in 2003. Within four years, it was up to 18%, but Layton was still regarded as an outsider by the main Conservative and Liberal parties, as he failed to convert his local base into a national one.

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/08/jack-layton-new-democratic-party

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The Myth vs The Reality

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of pissing and moaning by Transgender Inc activists about how gender identity and gender expression weren’t included in Gay and Lesbian ENDAs that were passed years ago.

Kat rose made a snippy remark about 20 years.

Well twenty years ago Transgender was not a part of the Gay and Lesbian Community.

Twenty years ago we were already moving on to the marriage equality issue.

Further the Transgender Inc community isn’t part of the Gay and Lesbian Community now.  Transgender Inc is purely about self-interest and uses the Gay and Lesbian Communities.

I say that as a post-transsexual Lesbian, who has been part of the Lesbian Community for some 35 years.

Further a good deal of the difficulty in passing Transgender inclusive ENDAs has to do with the whole ideology of transgender and things like identity.  Look at the employer based accommodations which are based on transition and consistent appearances plus documentation. The problem might not be lack off gay and lesbian support.  The problem could be the “genderqueers’, weekend(episodic) transvestites and just plain “crazies”

Well good luck.

I’m a not part of the Transgender Borg collective.

Marriage equality is more important to me and to many other sisters and brothers who can’t or won’t exercise heterosexual privilege to gain same sex marriage rights that would be denied to other lesbian and gay people.  But marriage equality doesn’t just give lesbian and gay people the same rights as straight people.  It also means an end to marriage challenges for heterosexual post-SRS folks.

Remember the right wing may call it gay marriage but it is marriage equality.

And along with a lot of other issues that affect older people, like protecting Social Security and Medicare it is higher on my priority list than most “Transgender Issues”.

Being Post-SRS and indeed Post-Transsexual means you are free to move on and have a life outside the ghetto and other issues besides the ones Transgender Activists decide are important.

BTW I was a left wing activist with numerous causes before I came out.  I had multiple causes while I was in transition.  After reaching the point of being post-transsexual I still have multiple causes.

Supporting transgender issues fall among those which are the most difficult as I have to deal with having my history/life erased and rewritten to serve the interests of the Transgender Borg Collective.  I was perfectly happy with the label transsexual to describe what I went through and “sex change” to describe the operation that made me female.

It may sound simplistic but it worked for me.  Too much of the prioritizing identity over action and reality among those in the TG Borg Collective makes my head want to explode.  Too often I feel like I am listening to Virginia Prince.

So I celebrate the passage of marriage equality measures and become more alienated from the Transgender Borg Collective every time I hear activists pissing and moaning about how gay and lesbian people work for things that impact their lives instead of dropping every thing to work for the issues of Transgender Inc.

This is because I’ve never really seen Transgender Inc work for Gay and Lesbian specific issues.

And citing people like me or other post -transsexual lesbians doesn’t count.

Classism and the Ripping of TS/TG Sisters who do “Drag Shows”

I’m not particularly a fan of low end drag shows.

But I’m going to defend them and the TS/TG sisters who work those shows for a living.

Not everyone has a fucking Law Degree.  Not every one has a fucking MBA or degree in engineering.

A lot of sisters who work these shows do not even have High School Diplomas.

The same is true of sisters who do sex work.

There is a level of classism that acts like a Trans-inclusive ENDA will solve all the problems TS/TG Folks have with employment.

That is pretty absurd given the problems of class based employment discrimination and the class war that denies people o the lower rungs of the socio-economic scale  a living wage.

When I came out street wisdom said there were three employment opportunities open to me… Hair dressing, performing and prostitution.  I didn’t do hair.  There was no call for anyone reading poetry/performing folk music on the show circuit so I did sex work.

Both performers and hair dressers look down on the sex workers.

But something else comes through now and then when I listen to the Transgender Borg Collective and that is how often I detect a smell of heterosexism and homophobia on the part of formerly heterosexual people toward people who came out through the gay community and who continue to have roots in the gay community.

The other thing is how often the TS/TG sisters being subjected to the criticism that smacks of classism are also people of color…

For what it is worth… Last year’s tizzy over the use of “trannie” had that same smell of classism and heterosexism.

Interesting article  in this week’s Dallas Observer:   http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-05-05/news/tacos-y-mas/2/

Tortillas and Trannies at Dallas Taquerías

Transgender “travesty shows” help fill the seats at Dallas taquerías.

By Jose Ralat Maldonado
Thursday, May 5 2011

“Pistol-whipping” dick jokes, littered with chingas and pinches, spill from the glossy lips of an eye-poppingly beautiful woman in a rat-a-tat rhythm that keeps time with her hips as they shake to the beat of a Selena Gomez song. Colored lights above the corner stage whir back and forth, accentuating her dance moves at a taquería in East Dallas.

The restaurant, one-room Los Altos de Jalisco on Abrams Road, is decorated with beer flags and framed pastoral scenes leading back to a galley kitchen, where the cook is better at flirting with the waitress than reheating tortillas. It’s a sleepy place during lunch hours, when, if more than one table is occupied, it’s a rush. But that’s not uncommon among the scores of tiny taco shops across the city. The only thing that makes Los Altos stand out from other taco joints is the white delivery van parked outside. Pasted on its sides are colorful ads for weekend drag shows.

<snip>

Sandra Cavalli, headliner of the La Catharaita show on Thursday nights at El Parral, struts across the floor. Her shtick involves direct interaction with the audience, such as caressing a shoulder and begging a married father-to-be to be gay for her. Cavalli walks the line between grotesque humor and vaudevillian zinger. Equally risque is her onstage “sister” Camilla Cavalli, a young male performer transitioning into womanhood, a 5-o’clock shadow juxtaposed with nascent breasts and long black hair, who hikes up her skirt to reveal a cleanly shaven thigh and gyrates to the cumbia blasting over the sound system.

A man in the audience, sitting with an attractive female date, whistles and catcalls during the numbers. He even bends over and digs his butt into a performer’s crotch and is ignored as if he were part of the bedazzling act pushed along by the DJ at the back of the stage, ready to add a prerecorded rim shot to a cheesy punchline. As Duarte and Cavalli both said on separate occasions, “What we do is comedy.”

Complete article at:  http://www.dallasobserver.com/2011-05-05/news/tacos-y-mas/2/

Now I know the Transgender Borg are often outraged by these carryings on…  But shit some of my TG Borg Sisters are more humor impaired than even many of feminists from the 1970s.  But hat is one major problem in movements that are overly fond of political correctness.

Happy Mother’s Day

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