Sowing The Dragons Teeth and Having the Chickens Come Home to Roost

When I was a child, I was an obvious transkid, a delicate, moody sissy.  I loved books far more than sports, played with dolls and all those things that marked me out as different.

When I went to school I was bullied unmercifully.

I lived in terror of coming home from school and running a gauntlet of kids calling me names, throwing stones at me, hitting me and threatening me.

When I complained about the bullying I was called a tattle tale.

Even my mother asked what I had done to provoke the bullying.

No one really did anything to stop the bullying. None of the bullies were punished for their actions, indeed a couple of them were considered the star students while my education suffered and I lived in terror.

One day, I think I was in second grade, a bunch of the bullies had me trapped and were threatening to throw me down  a steep embankment into a nasty garbage filled drainage ditch.

I was terrified and grabbed a stick or a rock and lashed out hitting one of them in the head and lay open a wound that gushed blood, enormous quantities of blood.

I was punished, put on detention.

The bullying stopped.  I had acted out of fear and had struck back frantically and landed a lucky blow but that was enough.

My country is a bully nation and has been governed by way too many bullies.

Since the Civil War white racists have denied African American people their rights as citizens, even though there were Constitutional amendments guaranteeing those rights.

After World War II liberal and progressive people were subjected to horrible witch hunts and were labeled as Communists for supporting real American values of equality and fairness.

Black people and white allies in the Civil Rights Movement were murdered by the KKK and their suit wearing kin, the Concerned Citizen Councils.

Juries let the murderers off.

Some African Americans in the south bought guns and armed themselves forming the Deacons for Self-Defense.

But more importantly an organization was formed that wasn’t afraid of the Klan and was willing to meet the Klan’s violence with violence.

Now we have People for the American Way and the Southern Poverty Law Center tracking hate groups that preach violence against women and minorities.

And now the bigots and racists wear suits.

It seems like half our society is consumed with hatred and bigotry.  Indeed they have made misogyny, homophobia, racism and war on working/poor people their party platform.

Now hate groups call themselves “Think Tanks” and “Family blahblahblah”.  Their leaders preach hatred and bigotry while trying to pass laws that reflect their hatred of women, people of color, LGBT people.

Attention whores like Tony Perkins and Porno Pete LaBarbera would do anything to be in the spotlight bullying LGBT people.

They wear suits and gold cuff links instead of Klan robes and swastika tattoos but their bigotry and hatred is the same as that preached by Aryan Nation and the KKK.

Behind the scenes Tony Perkins paid Klan Leader David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list.

From Southern Poverty Law Center

In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide their link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, because in 1999 — two years before Perkins’ speech to the CCC — Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had been embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson then urged Republicans to avoid the CCC because of its “racist views.”

The right wing has so cowed the main stream media that few dare call these hate groups for being the bigots and Nazis they are.

Oh no…

We are supposed to respect them because they wear suits and ties instead of wearing robes and Nazi like uniforms.

But beneath the veneer of social acceptability, behind their robes of piety and claims of religion they are nothing but Nazis and bigots.

At this point I am supposed to say something about how horrible and uncivil it is that someone went there with the intention of shooting people.

But it wasn’t the LGBT people who preached putting guns in the hands of everyone.

It wasn’t the hippie peace people who advocated violence and second amendment remedies.

Feminists haven’t been shooting down the advocates of banning abortion.

We listened to the right wing advocate violence against us for more than forty years.

We have been called commies for saying “Give Peace a Chance.”

We’ve been non-violently marching, practicing non-violence even when the police beat us and pepper spray us since the days of the civil rights marches in the 1950s and 1960s.

We have been campaigning for the most American of all values Equal Rights, Respect and Dignity.

Mean while your side has been arming people to the teeth in preparation for a war against “the Zombies” which is their code word for minorities their more blatantly outspoken supporters call “Mud People.”

Your side has advocated passing Nuremberg type laws that would make a minority group of Americans permanent second class citizens.

The Family Research Council and these other right wing hate groups have sown the Dragon’s Teeth.

Last week the chickens came home to roost.

You can’t bully and preach hatred and abuse forever without someone striking back.

There is a level of abuse that is the final straw and while most of us are peaceful gentle people who have been abused too long there are bound to be those who have been abused too much.

The constant rhetoric of woman hating, of racism, of homophobia is bound to unhinge a few who have already been abused too much by misogyny, homophobia and racism.

As for Tony Perkins…  I think it is totally pathetic for bullies to whine and cop victim poses because one of the people they victimize hit them back.

 

Pussy Riot protesters arrested in Marseille

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/19/pussy-riot-protesters-arrested-marseille

French police detain Pussy Riot protesters for wearing balaclavas amid crackdown on face-coverings

in Paris
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 19 August 2012

Several people protesting peacefully in Marseille against the trial of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were detained by police for wearing balaclavas, under France’s controversial law that bans Muslim niqabs and all face-coverings from public places.

About 30 demonstrators gathered outside the Russian consulate in the southern French city on Friday to protest against the trial of members of the feminist group famous for wearing bright dresses and colourful balaclavas.

But police swooped on about seven wearing multicoloured face-masks in solidarity with the band, reported La Provence. Asked why the police had stopped the demonstrators who had been standing peacefully behind a banner about the power of poetry, a senior officer told the newspaper: “They are wearing balaclavas in a public space. It’s illegal.” He said the demonstrators would be questioned and a report written.

In April 2011, Nicolas Sarkozy’s government introduced a law banning women from wearing the niqab, or full face-veil, in public places. To circumvent accusations that the law singled out Muslims, the bill was officially called the law against covering one’s face in public places.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/19/pussy-riot-protesters-arrested-marseille

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17.8.2012: “Police detention of Transgender Individuals during ‘Xenios Zeus’ Operations.“

From Greek Transgender Support Association: http://www.transgender-association.gr/

Press Release

Athens 17 August, 2012

Greek Transgender Support Association

(Court of first appeal no. 7646/2010 – Metropolitan District of Athens no. 19388)

http://www.transgender-association.gr/

transgender.support.association@gmail.com

Press Release 

Subject: “Police detention of Transgender Individuals

during ‘Xenios Zeus’ Operations.“

     The Greek Transgender Support Association, a recognized ngo for the support of the rights of the trans community in Greece, is hereby strongly condemning the massive police detention of twenty five (25) trans women on Thursday, August 9th, during the crackdown police operation “Xenios Zeus”.

Specifically, on the night of Thursday, August 9th, during a massive police crackdown, 25 trans individuals were taken and detained at the division of Central Police Station of Athens. They were not given sufficient explanation why they were being taken. They were forced to undergo an HIV test, administered by a Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) doctor, were subsequently found to be HIV-negative and released afterwards.

We, the Greek Transgender Support Association, express our deepest concern, and outright condemnation of the C.D.C.-assisted police crackdown operations. Especially since they target, among others, one of the more vulnerable minorities, namely trans individuals, who are deprived of basic human rights such as the right to work, be insured and access the health services, owing to the GreekState’s refusal to protect trans rights.

We also deem the forced and obligatory tests by the C.D.C. to be in breach of basic human rights. This is because the way the tests are performed, coupled with the complete lack of deontology and the specific conditions under which they take place, are not those of a European country nor of a just State.

At the same time, we question the recent ruling of the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (HDPA),  according to which the HDPA calls itself unauthorised to judge the recent and obvious violation by the state of personal data, in the case of the publicization of the identities of hiv-positive people. The HDPA invoked the Spearation of Powers, but at the same time countradicts itself by proposing amendations to the legislature.

We, the Greek Transgender Support Association, express our solidarity towards the hiv-positive individuals who are being prosecuted, and condemns the police crackdown operations, as well as the involvement of the CDC, for endangering and creating abject conditions for the trans community. Furthermore, we express our complete opposition of all police operations that violate human rights based on nationality, race, gender, religious or other beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender identity. We demand that greek legislation protects gender identity by aligning with the Ruling 2008/913/ΔΕΥ regarding the fight against all kinds of discrimination and racism.

We are in active cooperation with grassroots and NGO organizations inside Greece, as well as European organizations for the rights of the trans community. We will defend, in every legal way, the dignity and human rights of trans people.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 http://www.transgender-association.gr/

transgender.support.association@gmail.com

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Scott McKenzie, singer of flower power pop, dies aged 73

While the claims of people wearing flowers in their hair was mostly a fiction that didn’t extend beyond a couple festivals there was some thing happening in the Haight Ashbury of 1967 and all around the world.

No matter what people say that something still lives in the arts and in the health food stores and Yoga studios.  It lives in the peace protesters and the Black Blocs too.

And it lives in the imaginations of those of us who were there and still dream of a better, kinder and gentler world, a freer and less greed driven world.

From BBChttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19312310

19 August 2012

Scott McKenzie, who sang the 1960s hit San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair), has died aged 73.

The singer was a close friend of Mamas and Papas star John Phillips, who wrote and produced the San Francisco track.

Released in May 1967, it became a global hit and an anthem for the 1960s counterculture movement.

“I am amazed at how San Francisco continues even now to evoke dreams in the hearts and minds of people all over the world,” McKenzie wrote in 2002.

He was found by a neighbour in his home on Sunday afternoon. His death was confirmed by another neighbour, Victoria Byers.

She told the BBC he had been in and out of hospital recently after falling ill with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system.

“I think he had a heart attack this most recent time. He was in the hospital,” she said. “They did not want him to leave the hospital, but he wanted to be in his house [when he died]”.

Continue reading at:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19312310

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‘Gay Cure’ Ban Heads For Vote In California

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/19/gay-cure-bill-california_n_1798284.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

08/19/2012

When James Guay was 12, he went into a Christian bookstore to look for information on what was wrong with him. He found just one book on homosexuality — “on how to change it,” he recalled. When he brought it to the counter, the clerk asked if it was for him. “She said she would pray for me,” he said.

A few years later Guay had a nervous breakdown and told his parents what was distressing him. His father, a pastor, helped him find a licensed “ex-gay” psychologist. The psychologist said he had been gay, but now was married to a woman. He told Guay that change was possible. “It was this newfound hope,” Guay said. Within six months to a year, the therapist promised him, Guay could overcome his attraction to men and learn to be attracted to women.

Two months ago, Guay testified at a hearing on a new bill in the California State Legislature that would ban the “gay cure,” as this type of therapy is known. The bill is the first of its kind in the U.S., and observers expect it to pass by the end of August. If Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs it, licensed therapists who try to change the sexual orientation of minors will run the risk of losing their licenses.

“I wanted parents to understand that this therapy is crazy,” said Sen. Ted Lieu, the California Democrat who authored the bill.

The passage of SB 1172 would be the latest in a series of recent actions signaling a widespread condemnation of the practice. Almost all mainstream mental health organizations, from the American Psychiatric Association to the American Psychological Association, have renounced it. The World Health Organization has released a statement saying that such methods “lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being” of patients. Robert L. Spitzer, a psychiatrist who published a widely cited study supporting the “gay cure” practice in 2003, recently apologized for his work in the journal where the original paper appeared.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/19/gay-cure-bill-california_n_1798284.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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As Esalen Celebrates Its Past, The Fabled Spiritual Retreat Debates Its Future

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/us/as-esalen-celebrates-its-past-its-future-is-debated.html

By
Published: August 19, 2012

BIG SUR, Calif. — At twilight, not far from a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a Mayan shaman spoke of the return of Kukulkan to dozens of listeners sitting on the floor inside a yurt: As Venus, a planet of special significance to the ancient Mayans, passed directly between the Sun and Earth in June, the forces out there were heralding the return of Kukulkan, the snake deity, and the start of a new age of spiritual enlightenment in 2012.

“The cosmos is talking to us — we need to listen,” said the shaman, Miguel Angel Vergara. “Kukulkan shines in the infinite. Kukulkan is the sacred energy beating in every atom. Kukulkan is the feathered serpent living in your heart forever.”

Mr. Vergara would soon lead his listeners in breathing exercises and chants to Kukulkan, as part of a weeklong workshop mixing yoga and Mayan rituals at the Esalen Institute, the fabled spiritual retreat here. Hidden along an extraordinarily scenic stretch of California’s coast, with only a small sign alerting drivers to its existence along Highway 1, Esalen helped bring once-alien concepts and practices, including personal growth, yoga and organic food, to the American mainstream while celebrating the oneness of mind and body in its workshops and clothing-optional hot springs.

These days, as the retreat prepares to observe its 50th anniversary next month, people are still making pilgrimages here, drawn by Esalen’s focus on healing, melding of traditions and mantra of “spiritual but not religious.” Guests and workers still perform emotional “check-ins” in group “weather reports” during their stays, which can extend from a weekend to months, depending, an Esalen spokesman said, “on how far down the rabbit hole you go.” Esalen’s leaders say they are tweaking the institute’s balance between the personal and the social with an emphasis on the latter so they can present the next “edge” to America.

Continue reading at:    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/us/as-esalen-celebrates-its-past-its-future-is-debated.html

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Not Voting? The Koch Brothers Thank You

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-m-granholm/not-voting-the-koch-broth_b_1786481.html


08/16/2012

I don’t know what’s worse: Is it that a party would deliberately seek to deny American citizens the right to vote knowing full well the extraordinary sacrifices that went into securing those rights? Or is it that there are so many Americans who – with that same knowledge of sacrifice and for whatever unsatisfactory reason — decide to give in to apathy and simply choose not to vote?

I do know this: our history demands we do better.

A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found that an estimated 90 million people won’t vote this fall. That’s more than a quarter of the population of the United States.

You — or someone you know — may be one of those 90 million choosing not to vote. Voting is not compulsory. America is a free country. A free country honored by 1.3 million soldiers who’ve died since 1775 defending our nation and our precious right to vote.

It’s also the same free country that today saw thousands of immigrants line up for their newly granted relief from deportation –immigrants desperately wanting to stay in America, to be citizens of America, to vote in America. Immigrants who were brought here at great risk and great cost just for a chance to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities built upon our right to vote.

If you’re one of those 90 million people, you can certainly choose to reject that right, for whatever reason. You might think you’re too busy to vote; or that the partisan fighting makes you nauseous; or maybe you feel your vote doesn’t count. But let me tell you: If you’re staying at home because you’re disgusted by the negative tone of the campaign; or you believe both sides run the same vile, lying, attack ads; or because you’re turned off by politics: Congratulations, you are fulfilling someone else’s agenda. You are following their plan to the letter.

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-m-granholm/not-voting-the-koch-broth_b_1786481.html

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