Rich people’s revolutions are barely noticed but a poor revolt is hard to miss

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Episcopal Church in Minn. passes resolution opposing marriage amendment

While I am an atheist I remember some extremely good people over the years in the anti-war movements and other movements who wore the collar and were ministers in churches that were not Christo-fascist like these neo-Christian Dominionists.

From The Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune:

Posted by: Rose French
October 31, 2011

Members of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, which held its annual convention over the weekend in Minneapolis, passed a resolution opposing the marriage amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage.

The church is joining other denominations and non-profit organizations in signing the “Resolution against the Constitutional Amendment to Ban Marriage for Same-Sex Couples” as prepared and presented by Minnesotans United for All Families.

That group is trying to defeat the amendment set for a vote on the November 2012 ballot, which would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

“The Episcopal Church in Minnesota has always stood with the marginalized,” said Bishop Brian N. Prior, IX Bishop of Minnesota, said in a released statement. “Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender orientation or immigrant status, Episcopalians in Minnesota have always embraced both the Gospel mandate of love of neighbor and the Baptismal Covenant imperative to respect the dignity of every human being.”

Episcopalians (which number about 22,000 members in Minnesota) join other faith-based groups already gearing up for the heated political battle ahead this year.

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Case No. 43,217 Domaine Javier

I’ll admit I’ve put off commenting on this one.

In part because I can already picture the wailing and gnashing of teeth along rending of clothes that my snarkiness will no doubt set off.

The other factor was I couldn’t make up my mind if I should title this:  “What could possibly go wrong?” or “What was she thinking?”

In case you missed the story, in which case you probably are not on the same mailing list/news feeds I am or studiously avoid LGBT/T oriented Blogs you are probably already familiar with the story.

Transgender student expelled from private Riverside university

From The Los Angeles Times:

October 29, 2011

A man who identifies himself as a woman said she has been expelled from a nursing program at California Baptist University for appearing on a television program to discuss her gender identity, a local newspaper is reporting.

Domaine Javier, 24, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise she was expelled from the school after appearing on MTV’s “True Life” and declaring that she is biologically male. Javier dresses as a woman and has identified herself as female since childhood.

The show’s episode was called “I’m Passing As Someone I’m Not,” the newspaper reported.

Javier told the paper that she clicked the space next to “female” on the school’s online application form.

“They said, ‘On your application form you put “female,” ’ ” Javier told the paper. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s how I see myself.’ ”

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And yes it is tacky in the extreme for the LA Times, which used to be a real newspaper to describe her as a man. 

But as wait folks there is more to the story.

From the LAist:

After appearing on MTV’s Reality Show “True Life,” Domaine Javier – a transgender woman – was expelled from her nursing program at California Baptist University (CBU) in Riverside. The 24-year-old student revealed on the show that she is biologically male, inciting a major roadblock in her career path.

The private university claims that Javier was expelled for “committing or attempting to engage in fraud, or concealing identity” and for presenting false or misleading information in university judicial processes, reports The Press-Enterprise. Javier, who has identified herself as a female since she was a toddler, did so on her CBU application form.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Javier. “They said, ‘On your application form you put ‘female.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s how I see myself.'”

The expulsion became effective on August 30, just one week before Javier was slated to begin the nursing program. She had recently transferred to CBU from Riverside City College (RCC). “Devastated” by her expulsion, Javier returned to RCC but cannot enter the nursing program until next fall. “This totally ruined my career path,” she said. “I’ve been trying to finish as soon as possible.” Her graduation will be delayed by at least one year.

CBU is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, which is the most conservative major Baptist denomination. Javier, aware of the university’s religious foundation but unaware of its affiliation, says she “didn’t know they were that extreme.”

Complete article at:

In one article Domaine Javier said that the application asked for her “gender” so she put female, had it asked for her “sex” she would have put male.

That is fair enough.  It does reflect the problem of substituting gender which is non-synonymous with sex for sex in a question which is really about what set of genitals you have and not about how masculine or feminine you are.

But it also demonstrates the problem of playing post-modern word games with people who have a 14th century Christo-fascist mindset.

The really puzzling aspects of this are as follows.

With dozens of State Colleges and Universities in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area, all of which have  formal transsexual and transgender friendly non-discrimination policies, why pick one of the few ultra extremist reactionary schools where life is dancing on a razor blade?

If it is a matter of religion…  I tell TS/TG folks as well as LGB folks who are involved in rigid religious cult that hate them for what they thatthey should find another church/religion, something life affirming and LGBT/T friendly.  Like the Unitarians or even Episcopalians is MCC or an LGBT/T church/synagogue isn’t to their liking.

But all that said.

If you are in a situation where you will be thrown out of school, your home, your job and/or suffer some sort of great loss if they find out you are TS/TG then put at least a little effort into controlling that information.

Do not go on MTV’s Real World.  Do not appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Logo or Bravo TV.  Do not boast about what you are doing on Facebook.

These are mean and hateful people they will kick you out of school.


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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Grateful Dead

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Hartmann: Class warfare vs. Class surrender with Alan Grayson

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Occupy Wall Street beset by rumors of police crackdown

From Raw Story:

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, November 4, 2011

By Sebastian Smith

NEW YORK — Fears of a possible police crackdown spread Friday through New York’s Occupy Wall Street camp in the wake of violent clashes between police and protesters in California.

The camp that popped up in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park seven weeks ago, inspiring similar anti-Wall Street demonstrations across the United States and in London, faces mounting political pressure, along with plummeting temperatures.

 The police presence was unchanged around the cramped tent village, but angry comments by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and increasingly hostile coverage in parts of the New York media jangled protesters’ nerves.

The website reported “rampant” rumors of police action and warned: “NYPD (police) could move in as early as tonight, or it could be next week. We know that our adversaries are trying to build political cover for eviction by demonizing us in the press.”

Ex-Marine Jose Mediavilla, 29, cut a bizarre sight wearing a gas mask while using a broom and dustpan to clean around the cramped tent village.

“I’ve had it the whole time in case of raids,” he said. “There were a lot of rumors last night and today I’m wearing it just to show I’m ready.”

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Word of the Day: Capital

Full Show:

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Trumka on Grayson: A “Friend Of Working People”

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True Colors Residence

I missed this video when it happened a few days ago.

Cyndi Lauper at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the True Colors Residence:

Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Residence is the first permanent, affordable housing for at risk LGBT youth in New York City. IN THE LIFE meets the young people who are making it home.

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Occupy The Koch Brothers Guerilla Drive-In Planned For Parking Lot

From Huffington Post:


WASHINGTON — Americans for Prosperity, a group funded in part by the Koch brothers, is hosting a Tribute to Ronald Reagan dinner at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Friday, as part of its Defending The American Dream Summit, a conservative-star-packed event with confirmed attendees include GOP presidential hopefuls Herman Cain and Mitt Romney.

As the dinner goes on — before the summit’s 9:30 p.m. screening of the film version of “Atlas Shrugged” — a group with different political sensibilities will be gathering in a nearby parking lot to Occupy the Koch Brothers, with popcorn.

Per the event’s website, the Guerilla Drive-In event will feature “fun videos that expose the Koch Brothers in colossal fashion,” as well as good food. The event is co-sponsored by Health Care For America Now! and The Other 98%, which is also responsible for a video called “Koch Bros: It’s The Evil Thing.”

A similar event held last spring in New York drew a crowd of more than 500, so get to Friday’s event early to ensure a good seat, if you aren’t already booked to rub shoulders with Cain and Romney at the Reagan tribute dinner next door.

The drive-in will take place in the parking lot at 1025 7th St. NW starting at 6 p.m.. Movies start at 7 p.m.

JINGLE BELLS – OCCUPY WALL STREET (Truth is the gift this Xmas)

The Occupier’s Choice: Violence or Failure

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Quote from:   John F. Kennedy

From Ted Rall:

Ted Rall
November 3rd, 2011

Don’t Know What They Want, But They Know How To Get It

Here’s how U.S. state-controlled media covered events at Occupy Oakland:

“A day of demonstrations in Oakland that began as a significant step toward expanding the political and economic influence of the Occupy Wall Street movement, ended with police in riot gear arresting dozens of protesters who had marched through downtown to break into a vacant building, shattering windows, spraying graffiti and setting fires along the way,” reported the AP.

Then they quoted an Occupy Oakland member: “‘We go from having a peaceful movement to now just chaos,’ said protester Monique Agnew, 40.”

The lede of this November 3rd AP story frames a larger narrative. “Political and economic influence” cannot be achieved through violence. Ms. Agnew’s quote is used to support that framing. The move from “peace” to “chaos” represents a setback for the Occupy movement.

Violence = tragedy.

Considering that recorded history does not include a single instance of a nonviolent movement effecting radical change, it is interesting that anyone would argue that violence is by definition a negative development. It is equally astonishing that anyone would believe it.

In a revolution, one set of elites gets supplanted by another. There has never been a nonviolent revolution.


Gandhi was nonviolent. But his allies did resort to violence on numerous occasions. And India wasn’t a revolution. It was an independence struggle. The rich remained rich; the poor stayed poor. Conversely, there has never been a revolution in which violence was the primary tactic. Even the bloodiest revolutions—France, Russia, China—relied more on national strikes, sabotage, marches and demonstrations than shooting people. Revolutions are mostly nonviolent. But violence must always part be of the revolutionist’s toolkit.

Movements move.

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There’s many a gray head in Occupy Wall Street crowd

From McClatchy:

By Gianna Palmer and Kate Howard | McClatchy Newspapers
November 2, 2011

NEW YORK — Vince Taylor doesn’t fit the stereotype of unkempt twentysomething protesters at the Occupy Wall Street site in Manhattan, which was clear from the homemade canvas sign he held there.

It read: “75 AND DISGUSTED.”

Taylor, a retired economist with a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, flew across the country last Friday from his home in Mendocino, Calif., to join the Occupy Wall Street protest.

“I thought it’s important that people recognize that there are a lot of very thoughtful people in this country that identify with the Occupy Wall Street people,” Taylor said. Like many of his fellow protesters, Taylor said he was concerned with income inequality in America and corporate influence in Congress.

Though he was on the older end of the protesters, seniors and middle-aged adults are hardly uncommon at Zuccotti Park. A few feet from Taylor, a graying man and woman sat on steps at the park entrance singing “On the Road to Freedom.” Other seniors and middle-aged people held signs and milled about.

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Fracking ‘probable’ cause of Lancashire quakes

From The Guardian UK:

Controversial ‘fracking’ technique to extract gas from the ground was the ‘highly probable’ cause of earth tremors, report finds

and Hanna Gersmann
, Wednesday 2 November 2011

Two earthquake tremors in north-west England earlier this year were probably caused by controversial operations to extract gas nearby, a report by the company responsible has concluded.

The two tremors – magnitude 2.3 and 1.5 – which were felt by people just outside Blackpool, but did not cause any known damage, were reported in April and May. Since the second event, Cuadrilla Resources has stopped “fracking” operations – where water and chemicals are injected into rocks at high pressure to extract gas from the cracks.

The news came as protesters against the controversial new energy source halted work at a Cuadrilla gas exploration rig at Banks, near Southport, Merseyside. Four members of the environmental campaign group Frack Off unfurled banners after climbing climbing the rig at around 5.30am on Wednesday. Others remained on the ground.

In a separate protest in London, around 50 anti-fracking activists gathered from around 3pm outside the Copthorne Tara hotel in Kensington in an attempt to disrupt an industry conference organised by by SMI international. Two dozen police kept demonstrators away from the conference on the hotel’s first floor which was attended by delegates paying £1,500 per head.

The report, by a team of European seismic experts not usually employed by the company, concluded it was “highly probable” that the two main tremors and a series of aftershocks were caused by Cuadrilla’s operations at the Preese Hall-1 Well in Lancashire.

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Michigan Senator Condemns ‘Republican License To Bully’ As ‘Worse Than Doing Nothing’

From Think Progress:

By Zack Ford
Nov 3, 2011

Yesterday, the Michigan Republican-controlled Senate passed a “license to bully” bill, which not only neglects to protect students based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but creates a special exception for bullies who have a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) delivered an impassioned speech rebuking the Republicans for “explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying”:

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Shutting It All Down: The Power of General Strikes in U.S. History

From In These Times:

By Erik Loomis
Wednesday Nov 2, 2011

Incredibly threatening to those in power, they rarely succeed. But they do build solidarity.

As protesters gather Wednesday for the general strike called by Occupy Oakland, it’s worth looking at the history of this tactic. General strikes are rare in American social movements, because they are difficult to coordinate. On the other hand, few actions offer a more direct challenge to those in power. What can Occupy Oakland learn from their activist ancestors to help its participants draw strength? How have general strikes affected long-term labor and social movements?

The two major general strikes in American history are the Seattle General Strike of 1919 and the Oakland General Strike of 1946. In 1919, the workers of Seattle engaged in a three-day mass action calling all city workers onto the streets. This was the first citywide collective action in American history known as a general strike.

The Pacific Northwest in the early 20th century was a center of radicalism. Horrible working conditions in the timber industry, already radicalized immigrants from Scandinavia, activist dockworkers and the popularity of the Industrial Workers of the World among the region’s thousands of transient workers made Seattle a fertile center of radical thought that even influenced labor organizations affiliated with the traditionally moderate American Federation of Labor (AFL).

The strike began with shipyard workers but was quickly joined by workers around the city. By February 6, over 60,000 workers were on the streets where they remained for four days. In an atmosphere fearful of radicalism after the Bolshevik Revolution, conservatives around the nation declared the strike the first step toward revolution.

Seattle mayor Ole Hanson took the lead in crushing the strike ordering the National Guard to take control of the city’s light company. Fearing long-term fallout, national AFL leaders denounced the strike and it quickly fell apart. After its defeat, the labor movement in Seattle fell apart, a victim of both internal fighting and the vicious Red Scare that followed World War I.

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South Africa: rhino poaching at record high, WWF says

I personally believe in capital punishment for anyone killing endangered species or buying the products  from animals on the endangered species list, particularly tigers, leopards and rhinos.

From The Global Post:

A record number of South Africa’s rhinos have been killed by poachers this year, with the poaching driven by demand for rhino horns in Vietnam.

November 3, 2011

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A record number of rhinos have been killed by poachers this year in South Africa, the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) said Thursday.

Statistics from South Africa National Parks show that 341 rhinos have been lost to poaching in the first 10 months of 2011, more than the record of 333 killed last year, according to WWF.

Poachers typically dart the rhino before hacking off its horn and nose with a chainsaw. In cases where the rhino being targeted is a mother, the calf is often killed as well.

WWF noted that South Africa’s “grim milestone” follows the announcement last week that rhinos are now extinct in Vietnam. The carcass of Vietnam’s last Javan rhino was found with its horn sawed off.

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Occupy Oakland, city regroup after night of confrontation

From Inside Bay Area:

Posted: 11/03/2011

OAKLAND — After a night of confrontations with police and 80 arrests in downtown Oakland, people on both sides of the fence were in damage-control mode, with Occupy Oakland organizers and city officials trying to figure out what to do next.

In the late morning Occupy campers met for three hours and reached an anti-vandalism consensus that will be presented at Thursday night’s general assembly for a vote. They were also discussing whether to apologize for the destruction. The group decided that instead of formal apology, they would tell the businesses that they regret what happened and offer to help.

“It’s not about anarchists versus liberals, it’s about (expletive) versus occupy Oakland,” said the meeting  facilitator.

Milani, a camper who did not want to give a last name, spoke against apologizing to businesses. She said it wasn’t just outsiders committing vandalism.

“The person I saw putting toilet paper up, they’re a facilitator at the general assembly. The person spray painting, they’re on the events committee,” she said.

Another camper disagreed, and proposed starting a “good neighbor” committee.

None who attended the meeting appeared to be the so-called black block anarchists that clashed with police and destroyed property.

After a largely peaceful, jubilant and arrest-free demonstration, teach-in and march by many as 5,000 people who descended on Frank Ogawa Plaza for Wednesday’s general strike, and thousands

more who marched to the Port of Oakland, by late evening a different tone had taken over and police moved in.

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Health care solution is simple: single-payer

From Madison Wi, Cap Times:

November 2, 2011

The answer to the nation’s health care crisis is staring everyone in the face, yet as a country we continue to refuse to come to grips with it.

Late last month, the state’s secretary of health services, Dennis Smith, held hearings to let people sound off about planned cuts to Wisconsin’s BadgerCare and Family Care programs. The state says it needs to reduce health care spending by some $554 million over the next two years, which is likely to leave tens of thousands of Wisconsin low-income citizens without health care coverage once again.

At around the same time Smith was holding his hearings, former Wisconsin governor and U.S. health secretary Tommy Thompson was telling a luncheon audience that American companies often find themselves at a competitive disadvantage because their health insurance costs are so much higher than those of companies in other countries.

But neither Smith nor Thompson, nor most of our state and national leaders, can bring themselves to a simple obvious solution to this continuing quandary that has faced Americans for the past several decades.

It is far from rocket science. What this country simply needs is a single-payer national health insurance program that covers all American citizens from the day they’re born to the day they die — just as other advanced countries have done for decades.

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