“Something Has Started”: Michael Moore on Occupy Wall St. Protests That Could Spark Movement

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‘Occupy Wall Street’: Drawing the Battle Lines

From Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/occupy-wall-street-drawing-the-battle-lines-20110927

By Matt Taibbi
September 27, 2011

I was speaking at a conference in Boston yesterday when one of the attendees asked me, “How come the media isn’t covering the protests on Wall Street?”

I was about to give a pithy answer about how the press doesn’t cover marches unless someone sets a car on fire or someone throws a rock through the window of a Starbucks, when I realized that I myself hadn’t even written anything about it.

I don’t know a whole lot about Occupy Wall Street, although I’m going to check it out when I return to New York. There are times when one wonders how effective marches are – one of the lessons that the other side learned from the Vietnam era is that you can often ignore even really big protests without consequence – but in this case demonstrations could be very important just in terms of educating people about the fact that there is, in fact, a well-defined conflict out there with two sides to it.

There is a huge number of Americans who simply don’t realize that they’ve been victimized by Wall Street –  that they’ve paid inflated commodity prices due to irresponsible speculation and manipulation, seen their home values depressed thanks to corruption in the mortgage markets, subsidized banker bonuses with their tax dollars and/or been forced to pay usurious interest rates for consumer credit, among other things.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/occupy-wall-street-drawing-the-battle-lines-20110927

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Miles Davis (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991)

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Rights Collide as Town Clerk Sidesteps Role in Gay Marriages

Imagine for a second the level of up-roar there would be if this Bible Thumping “Christian” were to refuse to issue marriage licenses to say African-American couples citing the “curse of Ham” or Jewish couple based on traditional Christian anti-Semitism of the sort I remember from my childhood.  Would there be a shadow of doubt that this woman is a bigot of the worst sort, one who would be better off working in one of her precious churches than in a public office where one is expected to treat all people with the same level of respect and dignity.

Some one should tell this woman the era when it acceptable to be a KKK member or a Nazi are long past.

A substantial minority of atheists are fed up with this privileging  of bigotry that go with these claims of religious exemption.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/nyregion/rights-clash-as-town-clerk-rejects-her-role-in-gay-marriages.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion

Published: September 27, 2011

EDYARD, N.Y. — Rose Marie Belforti is a 57-year-old cheese maker, the elected town clerk in this sprawling Finger Lakes farming community and a self-described Bible-believing Christian. She believes that God has condemned homosexuality as a sin, so she does not want to sign same-sex marriage licenses; instead, she has arranged for a deputy to issue all marriage licenses by appointment.

But when a lesbian couple who own a farm near here showed up at the town hall last month, the women said they were unwilling to wait.

Now Ms. Belforti is at the heart of an emerging test case, as national advocacy groups look to Ledyard for an answer to how the state balances a religious freedom claim by a local official against a civil rights claim by a same-sex couple.

Ms. Belforti, represented by a Christian legal advocacy group based in Arizona, the Alliance Defense Fund, is arguing that state law requires New York to accommodate her religious beliefs.

“New York law protects my right to hold both my job and my beliefs,” she said in an interview last week, pausing briefly to collect $50 from a resident planning to take 20 loads of refuse to the town dump. “I’m not supposed to have to leave my beliefs at the door at my government job.”

But the couple, Deirdre DiBiaggio and Katie Carmichael of Miami, are arguing that the law requires all clerks in New York to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The couple are being represented by a liberal advocacy organization, People for the American Way, based in Washington.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/nyregion/rights-clash-as-town-clerk-rejects-her-role-in-gay-marriages.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion

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Transgender Borg Gender Obsession Stupidity

When I read some of the sheer utter obsessive TG Borg bullshit I feel like I ma listening to a Michelle Bachmann.

I want to go, “Dear sweet imaginary sky daddy, how can anyone be so freaking stupid?”

Sometimes I’m glad I don’t have a mouth full of  mouth full of soda or coffee when I read them.

From the Montreal Gazette: http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/09/28/gender-nonconformist-down-with-the-establishment/

Gender Nonconformity (or Down With the Establishment!)

September 28, 2011. 1:02 am • Section: Trans Talk

Posted by: Jillian Page

I once asked a hippie type if he thought his long hair was an expression of femininity. He said it was a good question, but he didn’t know the answer. He had never really thought about it. I probably should have asked if he thought it was a form of gender ‘nonconformity’ . . . because that seems to be the current buzzword for people who display traits that are not normally associated with their biological sex, but who don’t consider themselves to be transgender or transsexual people. Then again, males started blurring hair norms when the Beatles started singing She loves you, ya, ya, ya. Is a long-haired male in the Western world a gender nonconformist these days — as opposed to the 1960s. And just what were thelong-haired guys nonconforming to back then?

I kinda like the term “nonconformity” because it sorta stirs the rebel in me. “We won’t conform! Down with the Establishment! Don’t trust anybody over 30 . . . er, 40 . . . er, 50 . . . er, 60!”

Continue reading at:  http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/09/28/gender-nonconformist-down-with-the-establishment/


Anything that can possibly be turned into an area the Borg can colonize.

Hair styles for men come and go and have little or nothing to do with masculinity or femininity but often times have far more to do with politics and/or religion.

Contrary to media mythology the Beatles, at least when they first came to New York didn’t have very long hair at all.  There were beatniks, folkies and greasers who had longer hair but didn’t have cute little Beatle bangs.  The media seizing on the Beatles was the start of the safe packaging of the 1960s that ignored or shunted to the side the serious aspects of hippie as an anti-consumerist/anti-establishment movement in favor of marketing rebellion as a fashion trend.

The long hair, beards, jeans on both sexes, thrift store clothes were a way of giving a finger to the gods of consumption.

Trying to turn it into Borg territory by labeling it “gender non-conformity” is a way of laying Borg claim upon anyone who doesn’t conform to media/right wing/religious  induced sex roles.

I get tired og the Transgender Borg extending their tenticles into and laying claim to every freaking thing they can possibley claim, including the gay and lesbian communities.

Why Transsexual Separatism? A Transsexual Separatist Manifesto…………….

I just came across this Manifesto first published in 2002 by Cathryn Platine, and requested permission from her to rerun it.

The historical revisionists would have you think that there was a time when  transsexuals, transgenders, drag queens, heterosexual transvestites and fetishistic panty-wankers cheerfully gathered together under this one umbrella and sang Kumbyaa together.

Except I don’t ever remember that utopian era.  Instead I remember transsexuals and transgenders (drag queens and heterosexual transvestites) always going their own separate ways.

Cathy published this at roughly the same time (within a year or so) of Tina and I coining “women born transsexual”.

Cathryn blogs at:  http://radicalbitch.wordpress.com/

Why Transsexual Separatism?   A Transsexual Separatist Manifesto…………….

by Cathryn Platine

It’s easier and more understandable to non-trans folks to refer to all of us with a blanket term, but in reality, transgenders (TGs and CDs) and transsexuals (TSs) are about as similar as gays are to lesbians and for largely the same reasons……..basic core identity issues.  While coalitions are possible and even desirable when talking about having enough numbers to get a foot in the political door, if the identity differences are soft pedalled, someone gets their needs tossed out.  In order for coalitions to succeed, the needs of all must be considered.  Why transsexual separatism?  Trans-everything gets defined as people who transgress the gender expectations of their individual birth sex.  Sounds ok, but it’s like saying that gays and lesbians are essentially the same because they are attracted to the same sex.  It’s true, but if you stop there you’ll never understand the issues between the two.  Further, this relatively new term, “transgender(ed)” as a blanket term is just plain inaccurate when applied to transsexuals.  Gender is fixed at birth for most people, it is the internal sense of who you are in regards to male or female and transsexuals know what their gender is.  They don’t “trans” or cross gender, it is a constant from birth on and the reason why they are driven to change their bodies; to match their gender.  They are transsexuals because they “trans” the sexual characteristics they are born with.  If you aren’t driven to make this match, you aren’t transsexual.   If you are, you aren’t transgendered.

With transfolks there are many different flavours.  Males and females who self identify as such but transgress gender norms, males and females who do not readily identify as either and males and females who identify as opposite of the gross anatomy of birth sex.  They are not all the same thing, obviously.

The same dynamics apply as anywhere males and females are grouped together with a few new wrinkles.  Because transsexuals in particular are dependant on the medical community for treatment (hormones and surgery), we’ve been forced to dance to the tune the doctors and shrinks played and the prices were quite high at times.  Like gays and lesbians, crossdressers, transgenderists and even bi-genders can avoid having to jump through the hoops of professionals.  It’s very difficult (not impossible) for transsexuals to do so.  Gays and Lesbians can be open and out and still keep it from poor Aunt June or Uncle Ray who couldn’t handle having their world rocked.  The only way a transitioned transsexual can avoid being out to *everyone* is to avoid totally those from their pasts, family and friends, they don’t wish to know.  Crossdressers and transgenderists can play cross gendered games all weekend and return to straight jobs and middle class neighbourhoods on Monday morning.  Transsexuals face a lifetime (increasingly more likely in our security conscious post 9-11 world) risk of exposure and overt, often perfectly legal, discrimination and harassment.

Transsexual needs are for basic tools of living others take for granted.  Without proper ID, we are denied jobs and housing.  Even with proper ID, background checks or even medical records expose us.  Some states won’t issue amended/new birth certificates meaning every time you have to show one such as just to get a driver’s license, you are outed and your basic identity questioned.  Even moving from another state with all the other papers in order doesn’t change this.

Civil servants and total strangers feel free to question and discuss the current state of your genitals once they learn you are transsexual.  Can you imagine how embarrassing and insulting this is?  Done to anyone else it would be an automatic sexual harassment suit, done to us, it’s standard procedure and even considered their right to do so.  In order to get an official box checked (f) or (m) you are asked to provide proof of surgery and sometimes even that proof is questioned.  Years down the road, when your life issues should be settled, over and done with, these sorts of things will jump up and remind you when you least expect it that you don’t really belong and never will no matter what you do.  That you will always be considered a freak of nature by some.

Crossdressers and most transgenderists do not face these issues, just transsexuals.  Transsexuality is a neurological, pre-natal form of intersexuality.  At minimum, the central nervous system of transsexuals is at odds with the birth genitals. Quite often recent discoveries show other intersexual traits are present as well.  Cross-dressing is a behaviour, transsexuality is a physical birth condition.

Why separatism? From the 60’s until recently, transsexuals were told to invent new pasts for themselves, deny their transsexuality, avoid other transsexuals and blend in with society as the price for the needed medical intervention.  If your orientation wasn’t 100% white bread hetero, you’d often be denied surgery.  If the doctors thought you’d fail to conform to the image THEY had of male and female, you could be denied.  Male to female transsexuals were “flunked” by therapists for such things as wearing jeans rather than skirts even once to a therapy session.  Abuses of gender role policing by gate-keeping “professionals” were more the norm than the exception until recently.  As a result, the majority of transsexuals never had the chance to develop a community among themselves and now, today, find any attempt to do so is met with strong resistance by non-transsexual transgenders and they are labelled “elitists” or worse.  This is why a “gender community” is a myth.  This is why transsexual separatism, for how can we present a united front within a greater community if we haven’t even been allowed to develop our own first?  When this “community” denies us our own identity so strongly in their, mistaken, idea of unity?

The very fact that transsexuality is a medical condition requiring our dependence on the medical (and psychological) professions which enslaved us is now being used against us because of a perception by non-transsexual transgenders that it confers a legitimacy on us they wish (without paying the price naturally) to coattail.  The result is we’ve steadily lost what little legal ground we had gained as the “transgender” movement becomes more visible in the form of a steady judicial backlash.

Transsexuals, even those who’s birth certificates were changed, can no longer marry anyone with sure knowledge that the marriage won’t be considered invalid when it’s convenient to do so by ANY third party.  The implied promise of the past that blending in, hiding, denial of past history in exchange for a “normal” life has been repeatedly broken by the courts recently.  Our needs for the most basic tools of daily living are frequently jettisoned at the drop of a hat by our “allies” as a bargaining chip.  Our merely pointing out our differences and different needs is greeted by self appointed “sisters and brothers” with hatred that often escalates to sometimes vicious harassment we don’t even get from the outside!  Gay men often tell transsexual women that we are gay men in denial.  Radical lesbian separatists label us “agents of the patriarchy” and that our biology is our destiny in an interesting reversal of the original feminist battlecry and have been known to join forces with the extreme right to deny even inclusion in the ADA. Janice Raymond did this with  Jessie Helms.  Our history co-opted by gay historians.  We are denied the most basic tools of survival, often lose everything and everyone we hold dear when we transition, often cannot get even burger flipping jobs while holding college degrees, bear the brunt of homophobia since we are more likely to be identifiable as “queer” and yet are pointedly and repeatedly excluded from legislation such as ENDA nationally and SONDA here in New York.  Being thrown out of our own families and denied contact with our own children is the norm, not the exception.  Trans-children have been ripped away from supportive families by social agencies and subjects of years of extremes of behavioural modification to get them to renounce their gender identity.

Transsexual issues often boil down to life and death.  The decision to transition is often exactly that.  Having chosen life, we are then denied the tools to continue and have our very identities highjacked, denied and ridiculed, often the most strongly by those claiming to be our allies.  Coalitions are possible, but only if we transsexuals are allowed to first find our own voice and to own our own identities.  This is why transsexual separatism is necessary.  Let my people go, we aren’t you.  We can work together, but not until transgenders learn give us the simple respect of our lives.

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copyright 2002, Cathryn Platine.  All rights reserved.  This page may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any electronic or print media without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

Wall Street protests reveal slice of America’s barely tamed brutality

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/26/americas-barely-tamed-brutality

Pepper spray, Swat teams and judicial torture. This barbarity is ever present – but rarely so visible – in American life

Monday 26 September

One of the hardships of life as a reporter in New York City is that you so rarely get credited with the kind of heroism shown by colleagues in Helmand, say, or Baghdad. The assumption is that you’re spending time drinking gin martinis on the roof of Soho House (I prefer vodka) or dining at the Grand Central oyster bar (try the Rhode Island Cuttyhunks, they’re sumptuous), rather than dodging bullets in Tripoli.

I’d like to think that over the past few days perception of my job as a soft landing has started to change, and that its true nature as a tough, dangerous and – yes – heroic posting has begun to emerge. Take the events over the weekend in Wall Street. Admittedly, I wasn’t there, but that’s not the point. I could have been.

The protests were a lament for a nation in which, despite the 2008 meltdown, the financial system remains largely unregulated, where 46 million Americans live below the official poverty line, and where inequality is greater now than at any time since 1929. That’s hardly the stuff of revolutions: you can read Paul Krugman make a similar point every week in the New York Times. And in the land of the first amendment you’d think it was OK to shout it out in the street, even if that street is Wall Street.

Not according to the two white-shirted senior NYPD officers captured on video. The film shows a small group of women protesters, who are doing nothing menacing at all, having been kettled by police. As they stand there fenced in and defenceless, the two white shirts walk up to them, hold out a pepper-spray canister and zap them straight in the face.

It’s the officers’ insouciance that is most shocking. They engage the pepper spray as calmly as if they were handing out parking tickets, then turn and just as calmly walk away.

The video reminded me of another recent event at which I was present: last week’s execution in Georgia of Troy Davis. The case drew international attention because there was no forensic evidence and seven out of nine key witnesses had recanted their testimony.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/26/americas-barely-tamed-brutality

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Trader on BBC Sounds Alarm About Market Crash

Statement on BBC News channel interview with trader Alessio Rastani

The BBC have today issued the following statement regarding an interview with trader Alessio Rastani on the BBC News channel yesterday (Monday 26 September):

“We’ve carried out detailed investigations and can’t find any evidence to suggest that the interview with Alessio Rastani was a hoax. He is an independent market trader and one of a range of voices we’ve had on air to talk about the recession.”

BBC Press Office

While this has the appearances of one of the Yes Men Stunts they deny involvement.

Rastani is not in Liberty Plaza (#occupywallstreet)

By Andy Bichlbaum on Sep 27 2011

The Yes Men wish to commend Mr. “Alessio Rastani” for his masterful performance as “trader” on BBC World yesterday. Mr. Rastani’s real name is Granwyth Hulatberi; he once appeared on CNBC MarketWrap as a “representative” of the WTO. Well done, Granwyth! You’re getting better and better.

Just kidding. We’ve never heard of Rastani. Despite widespread speculation, he isn’t a Yes Man. He’s a real trader who is, for one reason or another, being more honest than usual. Who in big banking doesn’t bet against the interests of the poor and find themselves massively recompensed—if not by the market, then by humongous taxpayer bailouts? Rastani’s approach has been completely mainstream for several years now; we must thank him for putting a human face on it yesterday.

If you’d like to see the human face of the human perspective—the perspective of the 99% victimized by our demented and out-of-control financial system—come join the occupation of Wall Street. Michael Moore did so  last night, and pointed out that in America, it’s just 400 people who own as much as most of the rest of us put together—and that when we decide we really want to change the rules of the game, those 400 people won’t be able to do squat about it.

No Fossil Fuel Unburnt

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/27-4

by Tom Engelhardt
Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 by TomDispatch.com

Pepe Escobar, that ever-energetic, globetrotting correspondent for Asia Times, has long been on the Pipelinestan beat, covering the skeletal geography of energy that girds the planet.  Today, however, he leaves pipelines behind to consider the planet they service — or is it we who service them?  In his newest piece, “The West and the Rest in a One-Model-Fits-All World,” he focuses on this question: if the West is going down, and Atlantic bust is giving way to Pacific boom, what’s to be made of the fate of a planet in the embrace of a single grim model of economic “development”?

Last Tuesday, my hometown paper had, I thought, a relevant article, a seemingly triumphalist reportorial shout of joy that the Americas, from Patagonia to the Arctic seas, might be the next Saudi Arabia.  “New Fields May Propel Americas to Top of Oil Companies’ Lists,” the headline went.  (“For the first time in decades, the emerging prize of global energy may be the Americas, where Western oil companies are refocusing their gaze in a rush to explore clusters of coveted oil fields.”)

Huzzah!  We should all feel great, it turns out, because that tilting imperial slope on which the U.S. seems to be sliding downhill has long been linked to Middle Eastern oil dependency.  Now, so says the New York Times, that might be reversed.

Only one minor problem: just about every bit of that energy — tar sands in Canada, oil shale in the American West, pre-salt oil deposits in the Atlantic Ocean (way) off Brazil’s coast, oil in the Arctic seas (where Shell has just gotten its latest permit from the Obama administration), and oil fields in Colombia in a region embroiled in an ongoing civil war — involves what Michael Klare has long called “tough oil” or “extreme energy.”  Those fossil fuels — dirtier, harder to extract, or existing under the worst possible political, environmental, or weather conditions — guarantee nightmares to come.

Read complete article at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/27-4

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With No Future Visible, Young Activists Have Few Options but to “Occupy Wall Street”

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/story/152526/with_no_future_visible%2C_young_activists_have_few_options_but_to_%22occupy_wall_street%22/

Is it really surprising that young protesters on Wall Street and around the world would like to have a word with the financial magnates who stole their future?

By David Graeber
September 26, 2011

Why are people occupying Wall Street? Why has the occupation – despite the latest police crackdown– sent out sparks across America, within days, inspiring hundreds of people to send pizzas, money, equipment and, now, to start their own movements called OccupyChicago, OccupyFlorida, in OccupyDenver or OccupyLA?

There are obvious reasons. We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt. Most, I found, were of working-class or otherwise modest backgrounds, kids who did exactly what they were told they should: studied, got into college, and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life of being treated as deadbeats, moral reprobates.

Is it really surprising they would like to have a word with the financial magnates who stole their future?

Just as in Europe, we are seeing the results of colossal social failure. The occupiers are the very sort of people, brimming with ideas, whose energies a healthy society would be marshaling to improve life for everyone. Instead, they are using it to envision ways to bring the whole system down.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/152526/with_no_future_visible%2C_young_activists_have_few_options_but_to_%22occupy_wall_street%22/

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I’m Post-Transsexual… I Don’t do Identity Politics

One of the really nicest things about being long time post-transsexual is not having to give a shit about the new WPATH Standards of Care.  I glanced at it, looked at a couple of pages and decided it was the same old, same old tired Transgender Borg Speak we have been hearing for over a decade.

My reaction was, “My how time flies when you are at war with a bunch of colonialist pigs.”

My second reaction was that I had better things to wade through than this pile of manure.

Maybe, I’d have a different take on it if I were working my way through the process of getting surgery, or had recently had surgery, but dear sweet Mother Gaia it’s been nearly forty freaking years.  Enough is enough..  Forty years means I don’t have to give a rat’s ass about WPATH and their Transgender-centric obsessive little trannie word games.

I’m post-transsexual.  That means I can opt out of the identity politics of the Transgender Borg.

Call me an elitist if you wish, bless your little heart.  But I’ve got other things I’m interested in instead of TG Borg word games and power trips.

Marriage equality, protecting Social Security/Medicare are way high on my list as are the anti-corprate fascism struggles and the environmental movements.

I’m more interested in what is happening with GMOs, and manufactured ersatz food, than I am with whether or not some strange transvestite is pathologized, or not, in some obscure document, that is mainly of interest to the people of the Transgender Borg Collective.

I mean, “What the fuck?”

What is “Cultural Feminism” and why are Transsexuals its Enemies?

I have to admit, I never understood why certain branches of feminism seemed pre-occupied with the vilification of transsexuals.

Particularly since transsexualism, as a cause, focused on people with transsexualism gaining access to medical care that centered on our needs, non-discrimination based on sex, and equality between the sexes as well as the agency to pursue our own dreams and our own happiness, which all seemed consistent with feminism.

I never expected assigned female at birth women to focus on the fine points of women born transsexual’s medical access issues as that wasn’t particularly an area of common ground, even though it might fall under the rubric of control over the reproductive aspects of one’s own body.

I have to admit that I saw some of the ideas of a common shared sisterhood of all women and the idea that women as a class, particularly white middle and upper class women were more oppressed by sexism than anything else, as being a bit absurd.

I came from the left.  I grew up poor.  Without doubt sexism and misogyny are factors of oppression.  So too are such matters of class, race, ableism, religion or lack of religion and even things like height and appearance.

This is not to ridicule the idea that women as a class are oppressed by sexism and misogyny, but rather to point out that not all are equally oppressed and that some/many carry the burden of additional factors of oppression.

I saw feminism on a personal level as striving for equality between the sexes.  Not just equal pay for equal work, but equal agency,  control over our bodies including the right to say yes to sex as well as no, and have both consent to sex and refusal to have sex taken seriously.

To me, feminism was about having the agency to say no to the corporate peddling of femininity, with all its high priced corrections for flaws, I would never have seen myself as having, were it not for them engaging in major advertising campaigns to convince me I had those flaws, and needed to correct them.

I saw access to birth control and abortion (for any reason and at any time prior to giving birth.) as being something that should be a woman’s right.  I saw my right to treat my transsexualism with Sex Reassignment Surgery as the same sort of issue, particularly since SRS includes sterilization as part of the process of changing one’s assigned sex.

In short I am in the political feminist camp.  I think many in this camp came originally from the left or at least the liberal Democratic Party wing. We tend to be the annoyingly inclusive sort who raises other issues and causes, co-mingling them together.  You will find this sort of feminist at the anti-corporate demonstrations currently happening on Wall Street.

Being anti-misogyny and anti-sexism isn’t the same as being a female supremacist.  Being anti-sexism permits one to see how sex roles/gender roles are used to control men as well as women, particularly when used as an element of oppression that also analyzes other elements of oppression such as race and class.

Cultural Feminism is different from political feminism F

Definition: Cultural feminism is a variety of feminism which emphasizes essential* differences between men and women, based on biological differences in reproductive capacity. Cultural feminism attributes to those differences distinctive and superior virtues in women. What women share, in this perspective, provides a basis for “sisterhood,” or unity, solidarity and shared identity.

* The phrase “essential differences” refers to the belief that gender differences are part of the essence of females or males, that the differences are not chosen but are part of the nature of woman or man.

(From About.com:  http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism/g/culturalfem.htm)

Other Kinds of Feminism

From Wikigender:  Feminist Perspectives

Liberal Feminism

Liberal Feminism has a perspective that is diametrically opposite to that of cultural feminism. They believe that the differences in male and female social behavior are not so much because of biology but because of how their environment conditions them to be. They believe that gender identity and behavior are cultural constructs, products of the discrepancies in the legal and social opportunities available to men and women, and of the differences in how gender norms for behavior, choices, expectations, etc are set by society for girls and boys, and men and women. The focus of liberal feminists therefore is on creating a completely level playing field for the genders in terms of legal and social systems, and gender norms and gender socializations for that is what they believe is the key to the gender equality.

Socialist (Marxist) Feminism

This theory recognizes that in addition to gender discrimination, there are many other social venues for discrimination, such as race, class, education, sexual orientation and economics. And they believe that each category of discrimination compounds a woman’s experience of gender discrimination. So for example a poor, uneducated black American woman would be three times more disadvantaged than a wealthy, educated white American woman. So the Socialist Feminist perspective is that for there to be total gender equity all forms of discrimination in society will have to be simultaneously addressed.

 Radical Feminism

It believes that a dominating patriarchy is the primary form of female oppression in society, regardless of class, color and economics. The control that men have had over women is largely through brute, physical force. The focus of Radical Feminists is largely on the violence that women suffer, and their social subjugation through violent behavior inflicted by men. And they believe that this is what keeps women oppressed whether they are rich or poor, black or white, educated or illiterate. The focus of Radical feminism is therefore on fighting gender related violence.

Womanism (Woman of Color Feminism)

This is the feminist movement of the women of color. It started in the U.S. and includes black, Hispanic and Asian-American women. Womanists believe that is it not men who are their primary oppressors but a white, racist society. And that men of color suffer from this racial and related class discrimination, just as much as they do as women. They do recognize the oppression of colored women by colored men, but they believe that this is a result of the indignity the colored man suffers. So the focus of the Womanist movement has been on joining hands with their colored brothers to fight for racial equality.

Anarcha-Feminism (Anarchist Feminism)

This theory believes that the domination of the patriarchy is the inadvertent result of a larger societal thinking that fosters a hierarchical set-up of society. So the focus of Anarcha-feminists is the fight against the state and the dismantling of a hierarchical governance, for that they believe is the only road to equality of genders and all other social stratas.

Cultural Feminism/Radical Feminism:  Reasons for incompatibility with transsexuals

Cultural and radical feminism is an ideology is based on women assigned female at birth being equally oppressed as a class. A proposition that classifies the Women’s Studies Ph.D. from one of the Ivy League/Seven sisters Universities and unwed, high school dropout, welfare mothers as equally oppressed by the patriarchy.

One does not had to be a serious Marxist to look at that basic concept and think it to be somewhat sketchy.

As I suggested last week certain elements of “cultural feminism” sprang from Jane Alpert’s “Mother Right

Alpert and Robin Morgan began proselytizing a theory that not only were women oppressed by the patriarchy but that women were innately and essentially different from men.

This in many ways represented a direct attack upon theories put forth by not only feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir but those of scientist studying the development of both Sex and Gender.  Many years before Anna Fausto-Sterling, Dr. Benjamin postulated that there were several different criteria for the determining of sex.  John Money and Anke A. Ehrhardt in Man and Woman, Boy and Girl – Differentiation and Dimorphism of Gender Identity from Conception to Maturity discussed variations in sexual development as well as the role of socialization and culture.

Cultural feminism move away from the other, more politically oriented forms of feminism.  Particularly after the publication of numerous books postulating , with very little archeological evidence and a great deal of wishful thinking an ancient matriarchal past located some place in the period of hunter gatherers and early agriculture.

I personally thought the alternative explanation offered by Friedrich Engels in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State  seemed far more realistic and supported by evidence.

But then Cultural feminism gradually became more and more like a fundamentalist religion.  Cultural Feminists are true believers and are extremely adverse to anything that questions or challenges their beliefs.

They seem to believe in just as rigid a set of sex differences as  the patriarchal pigs of the male dominated religions.  They are just as down with idea of “men are from Mars/women are from Venus” as any religious fanatic, who uses their religion to define women as inferior.  In many ways the only difference is female supremacist thinking although that gets strange too because ultimate victimhood and the essential feminine channel claiming the female supremacy into such areas as “moral authority”.

Post-transsexual women mess with their theories of essentialism, which doesn’t wish to acknowledge the vast overlapping of traits held by both male and female or how the dividing line is pretty sketchy at times

After all how can transsexualism be innate if one is not assigned female at birth due to having ovaries and two X chromosomes.  Or if it is innate where is that element that creates the essentialness of femaleness located?  Transsexualism tends to suggest more of a social construct to gender, however more like that postulated by de Beauvoir than by Judith Butler.

Mostly though cultural feminism’s view of transsexualism is so incoherent and contradictory as to reveal an inchoate rage directed at the entire concept along with an extremely deep and humor challenged hatred of males.

One should recall that some extremists in the Cultural Feminist/Radical Feminist/Lesbian Separatist factions of feminism went so far as to suggest women who had male infants should surrender custody and responsibility for those male children to their father.

Unfortunately Cultural feminism has been taken way too seriously and used to discredit political feminism.  It has found a career home in some gender studies/women’s studies programs as well as having certain elements picked up by the radical right.

People use the work of scholars such as Carol Gilligan to push for sex segregated schooling and the work of others like Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon  to push anti-sex as well as anti-pornography campaigns that tend to promote anti-choice, anti-sex education and abstinence programs with a religious agenda.

To be continued…

Occupy Wall Street: ‘Pepper-spray’ officer named in Bush protest claim

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/27/occupy-wall-street-anthony-bologna

Anthony Bologna, NYPD officer named in pepper-spray incident, is accused of civil rights violations at the time of the 2004 Republican national convention protests

guardian.co.uk, Monday 26 September 2011

A senior New York police officer accused of pepper-spraying young women on the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations is the subject of a pending legal action over his conduct at another protest in the city.

The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.

Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush.

Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Posr, a protester at the 2004 event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard next year.

Levine said that when he heard about the pepper spray incident “a bunch of us were wondering if any of the same guys were involved”.

The lawyer said Posr was arrested on 31 August 2004, after he approached the driver of a Volkswagen festooned with anti-abortion slogans.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/27/occupy-wall-street-anthony-bologna

#OccupyWallStreet bleeds and leads

From Waging Non-Violence: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/09/occupywallstreet-bleeds-and-leads/

September 25, 2011

A bit after 10 p.m. on Saturday night in occupied Liberty Plaza, there was a celebration around the media tables. Photocopied facsimiles of Sunday’s New York Daily News were being passed around and photographed. After having held the plaza with hundreds of protesters at any given time for a week, and having kept the blocks surrounding the Stock Exchange barricaded by police all the while, the protest was finally getting serious news coverage.

“The Daily News!” I heard someone say on the plaza. “It’s because this is a sustained occupation.”

Exclaimed one of those doing media relations, “We’ve already won!”

Just a few hours earlier, it seemed certain that a full-on police dispersal would come that night. Contingency plans were being discussed by the protesters’ General Assembly. But now the Daily News cover and the presence of TV vans seemed like guardian angels, ensuring that they’d make it until morning.

So what occasioned the media’s sudden interest? To what do these protesters, who purport to represent “the 99 percent” of Americans disenfranchised by a corrupt corporate and political elite, owe these headlines?

Police violence, of course.

Continue reading at:  http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/09/occupywallstreet-bleeds-and-leads/

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Bolivian Minister Resigns as Protests Spread Over Crackdown

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/09/26-5

Published on Monday, September 26, 2011 by Agence France Presse

LA PAZ — Protests over a planned highway through a Bolivian rainforest preserve spread Monday as the defense minister resigned in repudiation of a police crackdown on a protest march against the project.

Angry residents erected barricades and set them on fire on the runways of an airport in the northeastern Amazon region to free about 300 marchers who had been detained by police on Sunday and were to be flown home.

“Residents blocked the airport and prevented the detainees from being transferred,” the mayor of Rurrenabaque, Yerko Nunez, told the privately owned Panamerican radio, adding the police fled.

Riot police on Sunday fired tear gas to disperse a long march on La Paz by Indians from the Amazon to voice their opposition to government plans for a highway through the rainforest preserve.

Police rounded up hundreds of marchers and forced them onto buses in an operation that left several people injured.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/09/26-5

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Tar sands action: Why I will be risking arrest today

From Rabble: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/grahamsaul/2011/09/why-i-will-be-risking-arrest-tomorrow

By Hannah McKinnon
September 26, 2011

Today I am going to participate in an event that will likely result in my arrest. I will be joining hundreds of other Canadians in non-violent civil disobedience to protest the Harper government’s inaction on climate change and demand that they stop the expansion of the Alberta tar sands.

The reactions of family and friends have been interesting as I explain my motivations. Most people struggle to understand how breaking the law could possibly be a good thing. The reality is, I would prefer to avoid getting arrested and instead feel confident that my government was taking seriously one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. Unfortunately they are not, so I will be risking arrest on Monday.

Here is why;  

The climate crisis is real and urgent but it is not too late

By now we know well that the devastating impact of climate change threatens the food we grow, the homes we live in and the water we drink. Climate change threatens peace and security and exacerbates ongoing conflicts throughout the world. If Canada continues to refuse to act, these devastating impacts will become catastrophic. Dangerous climate change is a preventable threat to the livelihoods of indigenous peoples, millions of species of plants and animals, vulnerable populations, and our children and grandchildren that will bear the ultimate consequences of our government’s indifference. The good news is that if governments like ours take serious action now, we can prevent the worst.

Solidarity and justice

Climate change is at its core an injustice. Those who suffer the most have done so little to contribute to this crisis, and they are the least prepared to deal with the impacts. Women and children in impoverished countries are especially vulnerable. As I risk arrest, others risk their lives for their most basic needs.

Continue reading at:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/grahamsaul/2011/09/why-i-will-be-risking-arrest-tomorrow

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It’s Class Warfare, All Right

From Other Words:  http://www.otherwords.org/articles/its_class_warfare_all_right

The rich guys are winning–in a rout.

  By Donald Kaul
September 26, 2011

Republicans are accusing President Obama of waging class warfare, which is a little like the Japanese complaining about the time Pearl Harbor attacked them in 1941.

Still, that’s the Republican Party’s role in life. It’s the defender of the rich and powerful and a friend to those who can afford them. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it, and George Will can’t be everywhere at once.

The Republican outburst on “class warfare” was prompted by Obama’s new, improved economic plan in which he proposed cutting government spending, trimming entitlement programs, and…if you’re a conservative with a weak heart you might want to stop reading right now…collecting more taxes from rich people.

The president went so far as to suggest a minimum tax on the incomes of those who make a million dollars a year or more.

“It is wrong that in the United States of America a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million,” he said.

“It’s hard to argue against that.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.otherwords.org/articles/its_class_warfare_all_right

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Ottawa Tar Sands Action Underway!

From Tar Sands Action:  http://www.tarsandsaction.org/ottawa-tar-sands-action-underway/


September 26, 2011 at 11:35 am

An incredible action is underway in Ottawa, where our Canadian allies are protesting the tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. Check out the press release and photos below, or follow live here

Ottawa — Hundreds of people from across North America are gathered this morning on Parliament Hill for a rally followed by a mass civil disobedience sit-in. Participants are responding to a call to action for a large peaceful protest where many will risk arrest to tell the Harper government they don’t support his reckless agenda and urge him to turn away from the tar sands and build a green energy future that promotes climate justice, respects Indigenous rights and prioritizes the health of our environment and communities.

Photo Courtesy of Greenpeace Canada 

“It is morally justifiable to risk arrest if you see and witness a crime occurring or about to occur. We are saying the tar sands industry is unlawful. We need to stop it before the damage is done. It’s worth getting arrested to send that warning out to the rest of Canada,” said Louisette Lante, a housewife from Waterloo.

Continue reading at:  http://www.tarsandsaction.org/ottawa-tar-sands-action-underway/

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The Growing Hysteria About the Fake Pentagon Cuts

How come the Pentagon and the War Industry are sacred cows when it comes to austerity programs and fat trimming?

Could it be the bribery of our elected officials on the part of the War Industrial Complex?

From National Interest:  http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/growing-hysteria-about-fake-pentagon-cuts-5917

September 21, 2011

Pentagon boosters are in hysterics about military spending cuts that barely exist. Leading the charge is the secretary of defense. Back when he took office, the conventional wisdom was that Leon Panetta was there to manage defense budget cuts. It turns out that he will say just about anything to prevent them, as Jacob Heilbrunn pointed outthe other day.

Panetta has said that a $500 billion defense cut over a decade would raise the unemployment rate by one percent, which would make sense only if money saved on defense disappeared rather than winding up elsewhere in the economy. But that isn’t even the silliest claim Panetta made in a recent interview with George Will. Will writes that Panetta is not given to hyperbole before proving the opposite with a fearmongering Panetta quote about cyberattacks so wild that it would make Richard Clarke blush. Expect Panetta to include more threat inflation in the talking points he is working up to help the services lobby Congress against cuts.

Continue reading at:  http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/growing-hysteria-about-fake-pentagon-cuts-5917

Lindsey Graham worries cuts will ‘destroy the Defense Department’

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/lindsey-graham-worries-cuts-will-destroy-the-defense-department/

By David Edwards
Posted on 09.25.11

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is calling for cuts to Social Security and lower tax rates, but at the same time he worries that the Department of Defense will be “destroyed” by deficit reduction measures.

If the Super Committee fails to find $1.2 trillion worth of deficit reduction by Nov. 23, it will trigger an equal amount of cuts from domestic programs and defense spending. President Barack Obama has introduced his own plan reduce the nation’s debt by more than $2 trillion, about half of that coming from increased taxes on high-income earners.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Graham Sunday if it was really fair to balance the budget on the backs of the poor while asking nothing of the top earners.

“Well, what you do with Medicare and Medicaid reforms, you do what Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did: you work together to protect near-term retirees,” Graham explained. “[Obama has] had a lot of input and advice in a bipartisan fashion from the Gang of Six, but he’s going down a partisan route. He’s trying to elevate class warfare… He’s using, in my view, a strategy of class warfare, divide and conquer in order to survive this next election. It won’t work.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/lindsey-graham-worries-cuts-will-destroy-the-defense-department/

New York City police arrest scores at anti-Wall Street protest

From World Socialist Web Site: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/sep2011/wall-s26.shtml

By Sandy English
26 September 2011

On Saturday afternoon, the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested over 80 peaceful protesters at an anti-Wall Street protest near Union Square in lower Manhattan.

This marks a major escalation of police violence against the protesters who have occupied Zuccotti Plaza across the street from Wall Street since September 17. The protesters have renamed it Liberty Plaza after Tahrir Square in Cairo.

Over a thousand people marched north from the plaza to Union Square where police kettled them with orange nets and arrested over 85 people, the majority without provocation, and including some who were simply watching the protest. The police used unnecessary force and pepper-sprayed several demonstrators.

According to the organizers of the protest, some 60 people were herded into waiting buses and charged with disorderly conduct. Another 15 or so were crowded into a paddy wagon. The police denied protesters’ requests for medical attention. The World Socialist Web Site observed numerous high-ranking police officials, including New York’s police commissioner, Ray Kelly, near Union Square as the arrests were being made.

Later Saturday evening, hundreds of police and over 40 police vans surrounded Liberty Plaza, although no arrests ensued, and the encampment remains as of this writing.

Police harassment has been a feature of the protest since it began. Dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officers have surrounded the relatively small number of protesters who have been sleeping in the camp. Police vehicles frequently drive up with flashing lights.

Continue reading at:  http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/sep2011/wall-s26.shtml

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