Why I’m Skipping Pride Day Here in Dallas This Year.

We’ve lived in the Dallas area for the last 8 years and have gone to to three of the Pride Day events.

We decided to skip going this year.

In the 1970s, starting in 1974 when the events were held to commemorate Stonewall and were very political they seemed important to attend.

Later during the AIDS Crisis they still seemed important to attend.

By the 1990s though the Gay and Lesbian Communities had started to be turned into a marketing demographic and the the Pride Day events lost their political meaning.  Gradually they became corporate sponsored parties where politics were sidelined.

Then came the rise of the Transgender Borg who expected me to march with them in solidarity even though the group was actually more composed of Transsexual Activists than actual transgender folks who were more likely to be found riding the bar floats presenting sexbot/fembot stereotypes for the male gaze.

This was especially strange as I was a volunteer at the LA Gay and Lesbian Community Center in those days and wanted to march with the Center.

The loud, “Transgender and Proud” crowd reawakened the Lesbian Klan with their insane and often contradictory anti-transsexual lunacy.  Now post-transsexual lesbian women are facing the same shit we faced in the late 1970s.

Then we have to contend with the emerging homophobia on the part of both the heterosexual transsexuals and the whining Transgender Borg who are throwing a tantrum because Gays and Lesbians won’t drop the pursuit of marriage equality to tend to the special interests of the Borg.

Some where along the line the whole Pride Day thing stopped being much fun either as a political act or as a party.

Perhaps it because I’ve gotten old and the effort to get there and stand aroud for several hours in the blazing sun wipes me out.

But that isn’t going to stop us from going to the Texas State Fair, which can be equally exhausting.

We’re old dykes.

On Friday night we went to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Granada Theater, one of our favorite music venue, big enough to draw reasonably recognized artists, small enough to enjoy the show without having to watch it on a screen.  There were a number of older lesbian couples in the audience.

Tina and I are clean and sober, we don’t go to bars.  We are a long time couple who live in suburbia.

That alone sort of removes much of the purpose of the “Lesbian/Gay Communities” which is their being a place to go and meet someone for a short term or long term relationship.

The other thing is gay and lesbian people have left the ghettos.  as we got older the exorbitant rents for tiny apartments in the gay and lesbian ghettos made less and less sense.  Many of us live in suburbia, where we are home owners or at least paying a mortgage instead of rent.

At my last job I worked at a big box store where my partner and I shopped on a regular basis.  Coming out wasn’t required, because as soon as I started people asked about my partner and how long we had been together.

We are members at a gun range where we get the “Family Discount” membership.  The same is true of the Dallas Museum of Art.

When we go to Gun Shows, the rednecks, who are supposed to be so homophobic and bigoted are nicer to us than many gay men, lesbians and transgender people are.  this is because we work at our sport, which is target shooting with center fire handguns and are reasonably good at it.  It is amazing how many of these right wing red neck guys like the idea of women entering into sport shooting.

We have assimilated both as women and as older lesbians into a world beyond the ghettos.

When it comes to rallies and other political events we are more likely to go to something regarding the environment,  Social Security, something  anti-war, pro media reform, anti-corporate or feminist than something specifically LGBTT.

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Movie slams “pink-washing” in breast cancer campaigns

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/17/movie-slams-pink-washing-in-breast-cancer-campaigns/

By Reuters
Saturday, September 17th, 2011

TORONTO (Reuters) – Pink ribbons dumb down the grim realities of treating cancer, and hide the profit-focused core of many high-profile fund-raising events, according to a movie that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this week.

“Pink Ribbons, Inc.” takes a detailed look at some of the colorful fundraising events in North America, where women, united in their fight against breast cancer and mostly dressed in pink, cheer their way along scenic routes.

The film questions the priorities of the campaigns and the broad use of the pink-ribbon logo as a fight-breast-cancer addition to products as diverse as T-shirts, toilet tissue and handguns.

“For me, pink ribbons were something very innocent,” said Lea Pool, director of the made-in-Canada documentary, which emphasizes the corporate sponsors of many of the events.

“I think it’s still not a bad idea, but I was very afraid of all the corporations and how they hijacked the disease and how they made profits out of that, and how there is pink-washing in the process of doing fund-raising.”

Showing at the festival weeks before Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as cancer charities have dubbed October, “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” pleads with fund-raisers to think about where the money they raise will go, and asks organizers to be more open.

It questions the logic of focusing on cancer treatment rather than prevention, pointing out that pharmaceutical companies stand to gain if more people use their drugs, and urges more research on the environmental factors that may contribute to breast cancer.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/17/movie-slams-pink-washing-in-breast-cancer-campaigns/

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Michael Klare, Is Washington Out of Gas?

From Tom Dispatch: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175441/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_is_washington_out_of_gas/

Posted by Michael Klare
September 15, 2011.

Way back then, the signs out on the streets read: “No Blood for Oil,” “How did USA’s oil get under Iraq’s sand?” and “Don’t trade lives for oil!” Such homemade placards, carried by deluded antiwar protesters in enormous demonstrations before the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq in March 2003, were typical — and typically dismissible.  Oil?  Don’t be silly!

True, Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz spoke admiringly about Iraq “floating on a sea of oil,” but that was just a slip of the tongue.  President Bush was so much more cautious.  Despite his years in the energy business and those of his vice-president (not to speak of the double-hulled tanker that had been named after his national security advisor while she was on the board of Chevron), he almost never even mentioned oil. When he did, he didn’t call it “oil,” but Iraq’s “patrimony.”

Back then, of course, everyone who mattered knew that whatever the invasion of Iraq was about — freedom, possible mushroom clouds rising over U.S. cities or biological and chemical attacks on them, the felling of a monster dictator — it certainly wasn’t about oil.   An oil war?  How crude (so to speak), even if Iraq, by utter coincidence, happened to be located in the oil heartlands of the planet.


America and Oil
Declining Together?

By Michael T. Klare

America and Oil.  It’s like bacon and eggs, Batman and Robin.  As the old song lyric went, you can’t have one without the other.  Once upon a time, it was also a surefire formula for national greatness and global preeminence.  Now, it’s a guarantee of a trip to hell in a hand basket.  The Chinese know it.  Does Washington?

America’s rise to economic and military supremacy was fueled in no small measure by its control over the world’s supply of oil.  Oil powered the country’s first giant corporations, ensured success in World War II, and underlay the great economic boom of the postwar period.  Even in an era of nuclear weapons, it was the global deployment of oil-powered ships, helicopters, planes, tanks, and missiles that sustained America’s superpower status during and after the Cold War.  It should come as no surprise, then, that the country’s current economic and military decline coincides with the relative decline of oil as a major source of energy.

If you want proof of that economic decline, just check out the way America’s share of the world’s gross domestic product has been steadily dropping, while its once-powerhouse economy now appears incapable of generating forward momentum.  In its place, robust upstarts like China and India are posting annual growth rates of 8% to 10%.  When combined with the growing technological prowess of those countries, the present figures are surely just precursors to a continuing erosion of America’s global economic clout.

Continue reading at:  http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175441/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_is_washington_out_of_gas/

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What Wall Street doesn’t want us to know about oil prices

From The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-wall-street-doesnt-want-us-to-know-about-oil-prices/2011/09/14/gIQAiOodVK_story.html

By Bernie Sanders,
Published: September 15, 2011

The top six financial institutions in this country own assets equal to more than 60 percent of our gross domestic productand possess enormous economic and political power. One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families.I represent Vermont, a rural state where many workers drive long distances to jobs that pay $12 an hour or less. Many seniors living on fixed incomes heat their homes with oil during our cold winters. These people have asked

Why have oil prices spiked wildly? Some argue that the volatility is a result of supply-and-demand fundamentals. More and more observers, however, believe that excessive speculation in the oil futures market by investors is driving oil prices sky high.

A June 2 article in the Wall Street Journal said it all: “Wall Street is tapping a real gusher in 2011, as heightened volatility and higher prices of oil and other raw materials boost banks’ profits.” ExxonMobil Chairman Rex Tillerson, testifying before a Senate panel this year, said that excessive speculation may have increased oil prices by as much as 40 percent. Delta Air Lines general counsel Richard Hirst wrote to federal regulators in December that “the speculative bubble in oil prices has concrete detrimental consequences for the real economy.” An American Trucking Association vice president, Richard Moskowitz, said, “Excessive speculation has caused dramatic increases in the price of crude oil, which harms end-users like America’s trucking industry.”

After I released records last month that documented the role of speculators, I was criticized on this page last week by two former members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. I put the information on my Web site for three reasons.

First, the American people have a right to know why oil prices are artificially high. The CFTC report proved that when oil prices climbed in 2008 to more than $140 a barrel, Wall Street speculators dominated the oil futures market. Goldman Sachs alone bought and sold more than 860 million barrels of oil in the summer of 2008 with no intention of using a drop for any purpose other than to make a quick buck.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-wall-street-doesnt-want-us-to-know-about-oil-prices/2011/09/14/gIQAiOodVK_story.html

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Wolves fall prey to Canada’s rapacious tar sands business

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/17/oil-sands-wildlife

On the pretext of protecting caribou, wolves are threatened with a cull. But the real ‘conservation’ is of oil industry profits

, Saturday 17 September 2011

Wolves are routinely, baselessly and contemptuously blamed for the demise of everything from marmots to mountain caribou in western Canada. Given that attitude, we at Raincoast Conservation Foundation are appalled, though not surprised, by Canada’s proposed strategy to “recover” dwindling populations of boreal forest caribou in northern Alberta’s tar sands territory. Essentially, the plan favours the destruction of wolves over any consequential protection, enhancement or expansion of caribou habitat.

Clearly, the caribou recovery strategy is not based on ecological principles or available science. Rather, it represents an ideology on the part of advocates for industrial exploitation of our environment, which subsumes all other principles to economic growth, always at the expense of ecological integrity. Owing to the breadth of the human niche, which continues to expand via technological progress, the human economy grows at the competitive exclusion of nonhuman species in the aggregate. The real cost of Alberta’s tar sands development, which includes the potential transport of oil by Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines is being borne by wolves, caribou and other wild species.

Consistent with Canada’s now well-deserved reputation as an environmental laggard, the caribou recovery strategy evolved over several years and many politicised iterations, carefully massaged by government pen pushers and elected officials who did their very best to ignore and obscure the advice of consulting biologists and ecologists. So, the government should quit implying that the consultation approach provides a scientifically credible basis for decisions. Apparently, scientists can lead federal Environment Minister Peter Kent to information, but they cannot make him think.

Egged on by a rapacious oil industry, the federal government has chosen to scapegoat wolves for the decline of boreal caribou in a morally and scientifically bankrupt attempt to protect Canada’s industrial sacred cow: the tar sands. Yet, the ultimate reason why the caribou are on the way out is because multiple human disturbances – most pressingly, the tar sands development – have altered their habitat into a landscape that can no longer provide the food, cover and security they need.

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/17/oil-sands-wildlife

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Protesters Begin Effort to ‘Occupy Wall Street’

From ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/09/protesters-begin-effort-to-occupy-wall-street/

By ABC News
Sep 17, 2011 3:04pm

ABC News’ Candace Smith reports:

Protesters are gathering on Wall Street today in a movement they call “Occupy Wall Street.”

As of noon, hundreds of protesters gathered at Bowling Green Park in Manhattan, home of the iconic charging bull in New York’s Financial District as they prepare to “take the bull by the horns,” as said on a flyer advertising the event.

“The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” said a statement on the website Occupy Wall Street.

According to statements on the website, the movement, an offshoot of online magazine AdBusters, is angered by what it calls the principle of “profit over and above all else,” which it says has dominated not only America’s economic policies, but also the way in which Americans view culture and humanity.

Posts on the website compare the group’s efforts to those used in pro-democracy movements across the Middle East, dubbed the Arab Spring.

“On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months,” one statement says. “Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.”

Continue reading at: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/09/protesters-begin-effort-to-occupy-wall-street/

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Irish Rupture With Vatican Sets Off a Transformation

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/world/europe/ireland-recalibrates-ties-to-roman-catholic-church.html?hp

Published: September 17, 2011

DUBLIN — Even as it remains preoccupied with its struggling economy, Ireland is in the midst of a profound transformation, as rapid as it is revolutionary: it is recalibrating its relationship to the Roman Catholic Church, an institution that has permeated almost every aspect of life here for generations.

This is still a country where abortion is against the law, where divorce became legal only in 1995, where the church runs more than 90 percent of the primary schools and where 87 percent of the population identifies itself as Catholic. But the awe, respect and fear the Vatican once commanded have given way to something new — rage, disgust and defiance — after a long series of horrific revelations about decades of abuse of children entrusted to the church’s care by a reverential populace.

While similar disclosures have tarnished the Vatican’s image in other countries, perhaps nowhere have they shaken a whole society so thoroughly or so intensely as in Ireland. And so when the normally mild-mannered prime minister, Enda Kenny, unexpectedly took the floor in Parliament this summer to criticize the church, he was giving voice not just to his own pent-up feelings, but to those of a nation.

His remarks were a ringing declaration of the supremacy of state over church, in words of outrage and indignation that had never before been used publicly by an Irish leader.

“For the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposed an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry into a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago,” Mr. Kenny said, referring to the Cloyne Report, which detailed abuse and cover-ups by church officials in southern Ireland through 2009.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/world/europe/ireland-recalibrates-ties-to-roman-catholic-church.html?hp