Friday Night Fun and Culture French Edition Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour

Since falling in love with first Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and the HBO Special “Hemingway and Gellhorn” I’ve found myself reading novels by the Lost Generation as well as Silvia Beach’s memoir about the bookstore Shakespeare and Co.  Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex is my bedtime book.

So a little Piaf and Aznavoir seems appropriate

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Ashley Love is Barred from Commenting on this Blog

Yesterday Ashley Love came here and left a comment that was so grossly insulting as to result in my barring her from commenting on this blog and my defriending her on Facebook.

You do not come to my house and personally insult me.

Perhaps your total lack of manners is a result of your growing up an over privileged brat.

To paraphrase Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, “Frankly Ashley, I don’t give a damn.”

I have been forced to rethink our interactions over the past few  years and have come to the conclusion that people like Bil Browning of Bilerico have your number.

You are so self-centered and vapid I doubt you were aware I had your number as early as when I defended you from Autumn Sandeen’s three part attack.

Actually Sandeen had your number and was right on the money in what she said about you.

Nonetheless I saw Autumn as bullying you and I came to your defense.

That was when you made your first mistake.

Instead of realizing I see myself as an underground journalist and not as your publicity agent you whined and pouted about my defense of you and my saying you had made mean and malicious comments regarding Autumn Sandeen.

I write what I honestly think and try to get my readers to follow stories I am following in the news. I am not a  publicity agent dedicated to polishing the image of someone I consider both ignorant and arrogant.

The combination of ignorant and arrogant combined with self-confident and spoiled is a combination of the less than charming traits I see in so many millennials, the fucked up children of the Reagan era.

Poor Ashley Love…  She just can’t help it.  She makes mean, nasty, malicious comments about people because she is a mean nasty person.

An Airhead who thinks she is a leader when in point of fact she is an attention whore.

As I said others have her number too:

From Bilerico: October 25, 2011  OWS: Ashley Love Strikes Again

Over on n+1 there’s a report out of Occupy Wall Street and the problems they’ve had with a group of drummers who’ve been irritating other protestors and city officials with the noise at all hours. Buried in a missive about the ongoing negotiations with the drummers is this blind item about a transgender woman (emphasis mine) who’s bogging down the process so much that ” the board’s trust in the demonstrators to police themselves and keep their word may be broken beyond repair.”

Unfortunately there is one individual who is NOT a drummer but who claims to speak for the drummers who has been a deeply disruptive force, attacking the drumming rep during the GA and derailing his proposal, and disrupting the community board meeting, as well as the OWS community relations meeting. She has also created strife and divisions within the POC caucus, calling many members who are not ‘on her side’ “Uncle Tom”, “the 1%”, “Barbie” “not Palestinian enough” “Wall Street politicians” “not black enough” “sell-outs”, etc. People have been documenting her disruptions, and her campaign of misinformation, and instigations. She also has a documented history online of defamatory, divisive and disruptive behavior within the LGBT (esp. transgender) communities. Her disruptions have made it hard to have constructive conversations and productive resolutions to conflicts in a variety of forums in the past several days.

From The Gothamist: October 25, 2011  Occupy Wall Street To Request 4-Hour Drumming Schedule At Tonight’s CB 1 Meeting

While the issues of public defecation and police barricades creeped into the discussion, the CB 1 meeting was dominated by a search for compromise on drumming at Occupy Wall Street. Most everyone agreed that it should be limited to 2 hours a day, preferably from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. during rush hour. These were the terms agreed to by the committees and de facto OWS spokesman Han Shan. Yet the loud outbursts during the meeting by one woman were a portent: some drummers wouldn’t be reasoned with.

This protester, who identifies herself as Ashley Love, shouted “four hours!” several times while CB 1 members were speaking, to the anger and frustration of her peers sitting around her. One tugged on her sleeve, pleading her to stop before creating another impasse.

A “respected activist” who refused to be named described her to n+1 thusly:

Unfortunately there is one individual who is NOT a drummer but who claims to speak for the drummers who has been a deeply disruptive force, attacking the drumming rep during the GA and derailing his proposal, and disrupting the community board meeting, as well as the OWS community relations meeting. She has also created strife and divisions within the POC caucus, calling many members who are not ‘on her side’ “Uncle Tom”, “the 1%”, “Barbie” “not Palestinian enough” “Wall Street politicians” “not black enough” “sell-outs”, etc. People have been documenting her disruptions, and her campaign of misinformation, and instigations. She also has a documented history online of defamatory, divisive and disruptive behavior within the LGBT (esp. transgender) communities. Her disruptions have made it hard to have constructive conversations and productive resolutions to conflicts in a variety of forums in the past several days.Our reporter approached the drummers this afternoon around 1 p.m., and they were playing with gusto. “You can’t keep this fire I’ve got in me quiet,” said one drummer who declined to be named but noted that he was not with Pulse. “Throw me behind bars, I’ll make noise on those too.”

We’ll be there to see if Love, (who some OWS protesters believe is a media saboteur) interrupts the full board meeting again, and whether or not CB 1 will approve of drumming between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. If enough residents turn out to complain, the board’s trust in the demonstrators to police themselves and keep their word may be broken beyond repair.

During phone conversations with Ashley, I have often found myself appalled by her homophobia as well as her dismissal of the concerns of gay and lesbian people.

Further, she has on numerous occasions exhibited a dismissive attitude towards lesbian TS/TG sisters, almost a sort of heterosexist contempt towards our needs and concerns within the LGBT/T communities.

This carries over to a contempt for non-TG/TS lesbians and gay men.  A sense of entitlement that views us as staff to be used to promote Ashley Love.

I grew up in a working class family.  I was taught manners, including expressing gratitude to people who do me favors and who give me assistance.

I have been highly appreciative of the legal assistance I have seen GLAAD give a number of transsexual and transgender women over the last few years.  I may disagree with their style guide, just as I disagree with many people in the TS/TG communities who insist TS/TG sisters and brothers only discuss their lives and experiences in politically correct approved terms.

As I said, I was raised with some manners even though many find me blunt and rude with writing that doesn’t shy away from the f-word.

I know better than to picket or demonstrate against an organization that is providing the legal muscle that is helping TS/TG people win important cases or in the case of Jenna Talackova, a high visibility case.

I know enough to say thank you.

When I call someone on the phone and their partner answers I don’t just rudely ask for the party I wish to speak to.  I say hello and ask if I may please speak to the person I am trying to reach.

Over the last few months Ashley Love has become more and more involved with the HBS/Classic  transsexual cult, a group of transsexuals, who for reasons invisible to outsiders see themselves as some sort of transsexual elite.  Perhaps it is their clinging to some sort of ideology, but their belief in their specialness empowers them to call other transsexual women all sorts of nasty names.

Recently Ashley Love made contemptuous remarks about Jenna, as well as Janet Mock and Isis King.

Perhaps she is jealous of their being seen as credible spokes people while Ashley, who so desperately craves the attention that falls upon a leader is seen as a joke.

Poor Ashley…

Perhaps the Jennifer Ushers of the world will make her their leader.

Trans Woman Found Dead in Cincinnati Parking Lot


by Marcus Brock, Media Field Strategist at GLAAD
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Earlier this week, Kendall L. Hampton, a trans woman living in Cincinnati was shot and left in a parking lot.  This represents yet another trans woman of color who has been killed in recent weeks. Just last week, Tracey Gooden was killed just blocks away from where Paige Clay was killed in Chicago last April.  Members of community organizations such as Trans People of Color Coalition and Equality Ohio are shocked by the mounting number of victimized trans women of color and are working on responses to the growing issue.

Local news stations in Cincinnati posted problematic articles about Hampton, referring to the victim as a “man” and using the pronoun, “he.” A request has been sent to the stations to have the articles amended.

GLAAD is in touch with local news stations as well as our community partners who are working on the ground in Ohio to get more details regarding the victim. At this time, we have also urged the media to be sensitive in reporting on trans issues and using proper identifiers when discussing the victims.

It’s Hurricane Akin that is hitting the GOP Convention!

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GOP Grassroots Furious at Romney Over Akin, Abortion Rape Exception

From The Daily Beast:

Anti-abortion activists are incensed at the candidate’s claim that he wouldn’t ban abortion for victims of rape—and at his rejection of Todd Akin, who’s trying to capitalize on that anger with a fundraising push.

by Aug 23, 2012

Jennifer Mason, the communications director of Personhood USA and wife of the group’s cofounder Keith Mason, is very disappointed with the way Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have responded to the Todd Akin flap. She’s particularly incensed by the campaign’s insistence that a Romney-Ryan administration wouldn’t try to ban abortion for rape victims. “Romney and Ryan have turned their backs on the Republican Party platform in cases of rape,” she says. “That’s a huge problem.”

Even since Akin introduced the phrase “legitimate rape” into the political lexicon, Republican leaders have been scrambling to distance themselves from him. Romney called on him to drop out of the race, and both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and American Crossroads, Karl Rove’s super PAC, have said they won’t support him financially. But the rush to reject Akin is infuriating the anti-abortion movement, which sees it as a further sign of Romney’s weak commitment to social conservatism. “For goodness’s sake, the guy won’t defend a chicken sandwich, let alone his own Senate candidate,” says conservative radio host Steve Deace, who recently co-wrote a book, We Won’t Get Fooled Again: Where the Christian Right Went Wrong and How to Make America Right Again, arguing that social conservatives have been shafted by the GOP.

Akin is hoping he can capitalize on grassroots anger with Republican leadership. On Wednesday an appeal on his fundraising page for his Missouri Senate bid said: “Join us as we fight back against the party bosses. Help us raise $24,000 in 24 hours!” By late afternoon he’d exceeded that by several thousand dollars. A few minutes later the site set a new goal—$100,000 by midnight. On Thursday morning Akin announced that they beat it, with thousands of people donating.

To outsiders, the anti-abortion movement’s disaffection with the Republican Party might seem odd. After all, in Ryan, Romney has chosen a running mate with a 100 percent lifetime voting record from the National Right to Life Committee—slightly better, as it happens, than Akin, who only scored 90 percent during one of his terms in Congress. As Mason mentioned, the 2012 GOP platform once again calls for prohibiting abortion without exception. Besides, aside from the American Family Association’s ever-inflammatory Bryan Fischer, few in the anti-abortion movement are interested in defending Akin’s ridiculous assertions about female reproductive biology.

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Huckabee: Republicans who denounced Todd Akin ‘are not rational’

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee urged his fans to support Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who recently said it was impossible for a victim of “legitimate rape” to become pregnant.

“The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren’t rational, left [Akin] behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound,” Huckabee wrote in an email to supporters. “In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican.”

Akin created an international uproar over the weekend when he claimed that it was unlikely that the victim of a “legitimate rape” would become pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Many prominent Republicans called on Akin to abandon his bid for Senate in Missouri, but he refused to drop out of the race against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.

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What’s Wrong With “I’m Pro-Choice, But I Could Never Have An Abortion?”

From RH Reality Check:

by Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check
August 21, 2012

There are a number of phrases that smart progressives realize that you should always end with a period, and not with a comma followed by the word “but.”  Examples of phrases that are best excised from your vocabulary completely: “I’m not a racist, but….” And “I’m not a sexist, but…”. Anything you say after the word “but” has been shown historically to swiftly disprove the first clause in your sentence. Now I think we should seriously consider adding “I’m pro-choice, but….” to the list. In theory, you can be pro-choice with a “but” added, but in practice, anything you tack on after that is unlikely to be helpful to the cause of keeping abortion safe and legal.

Take, for instance, the most common formation of “I’m pro-choice, but….”, recently seen in this article at Salon from a woman confessing that her anti-sex upbringing has brought her to the place of being 27 years old without ever having kissed a man. In the piece, she says, “I had no intention of having sex before marriage and, while I am pro-choice, I personally would never abort.” You hear variations on this phrase all the time: “I’m pro-choice, but I could never have an abortion!,” and it drives me personally nuts. Not because I think everyone should have abortions, by any means. If you never have a need to have one, that’s a welcome thing, and congrats to you for successfully avoiding unwanted pregnancies that you had to terminate.

No, the problem with “I’m pro-choice, but I would never have an abortion!” is that, whether the speaker intends this or not, the message is that you believe that abortion is for Other Women. Lesser women. Your clear message is that while you think it’s better if abortion is legal, you still think the women who have it are sexually immoral, and you’re insinuating you’re too good or smart to be caught in a situation where you have a pregnancy that you simply can’t go through with. In this particular article, that mentality comes through loud and clear. After all, the writer is still living with the belief that pre-marital sex is wrong, and that women who only have sex within marriage are somehow superior to others.

“I’m pro-choice, but I would never have an abortion” undermines the pro-choice movement you claim to support. It dehumanizes women who have abortions, and reinforces the stereotype that women who have abortions are irresponsible, immoral, or slutty. After all, what’s the point of making it clear that you would never have an abortion? It’s about distancing yourself from them, implying that you’re not like them. That you’re more sexually pure or more responsible. Which feeds into the anti-choice narrative about abortion: That it should be banned because the kind of people who need that service are bad people who need to be punished for their sexual choices.

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Tens of thousands protesters on the streets of Montreal

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Republicans’ effort to roll back civil rights

From The Guardian UK:

A raft of voting restrictions across a score of states represents a historic attempt to disenfranchise African-American voters, Thursday 23 August 2012

People remember 1929 as the year of the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, the global economic disaster which remains the only one in history that dwarfs the one in which we now find ourselves. It was also the year Martin Luther King Jr was born, who wouldn’t live to see 40 years. And it was the year that Langston Hughes graduated from Lincoln University, outside Philadelphia.

Hughes, the grandson of abolitionists and voting-rights activists, was an African-American writer. His poem “A Dream Deferred” begins:

“What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore –
And then run?”

Hughes left Lincoln University, one of the 105 historically black colleges and universities in the US, and spent the rest of his life campaigning for civil and human rights. He died in 1967, two years after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

Almost 80 years after his graduation, Lincoln students eagerly awaited the opportunity to cast their vote, many no doubt for the first major-party African-American candidate for president, Barack Obama. For years, the Chester County Board of Elections and Department of Voter Services had accommodated the students and community by establishing a convenient polling place on campus, in the gymnasium. In 2008, however, it was moved to a community center, described by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania as “more than a mile from the Lincoln University campus on a winding country road and is virtually inaccessible for students without a car.”

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The Great White Backlash, The Dog Whistle, and a New Civil War

From Op-Ed News:–by-John-Reed-120822-486.html

August 22, 2012

A new phrase recently wormed its way into American political discourse, introduced, apparently, by our very own liberal talking heads, because they believe it impolitic to tell the ugly truth about a certain large sect within the Republican Party; a phrase meant to reference all of those “good ole’ boy” Republican synonyms for the deeply, abiding racism the Republican party invited into its ranks with hugs and kisses after the Democratic party took the issue of civil rights away from the Elephants.

That profound racism has had many expressions before:  calling a man a boy or a monkey, Willie Horton, the Southern Strategy, birtherism, Jeremiah Wright, the poll tax, the literacy test, lynching, lunch counters, fire hoses, fire bombs, buses, viscous and growling dog fangs, being called uppity, federal troops, assassinations, voter fraud, voter suppression, finger wagging, shouts of “You lie!” etc.. To be nice to the Republicans, we now call the collection of these epithets and symbolic actions “the dog whistle,” and that phrase refers to race, or “otherness,” particularly regarding African-Americans.  It implies black Americans are somehow less American, less patriotic, less hardworking, and less-deserving of an equal chance for success in America than are white Americans.  It implies that whites do the work in America while blacks and Latinos abuse the social safety net by living off of benefits provided by white tax dollars.  As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her news hour on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, the “dog whistle” is always the last resort of a losing Republican presidential candidate, with the possible exception of John McCain.

Maybe. But maybe the dog whistle is always used by Republicans.  Maybe we just now need a euphemism for the wide ranging forms Republicans express their solidarity with the Caucasian race because only now have we elected an African-American as President of the United States.  Maybe the election of 2010 was “The Great White Backlash” against the 2008 election of President Barak Obama, putting the House in Republican hands, and many states in absolute Republican control.  As a result, President Obama looks ineffective, and the states have been able to pass legislation that virtually guarantees no African-American will be elected to the White House for many years to come. Maybe America remains a ferociously, racist country and the Obama presidency a fluke of historical coindence: the growing senility of a senior Senator’s candidacy, the absurd choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate, and the economic crash on the eve of the 2008 election.

The “dog whistle” is an appeal to the white voter’s fear that former minorities will someday rise up and control the machinery of power in our country–the state, with all of the brute force it commands. It is the same fear once felt by white South Africans when they refused to end apartheid in a world that had proved their fear to be unfounded. The dog whistle raises fears of paying reparations for slavery, and of final accountability for the physical, social, economic, and political crimes that nearly every white voter secretly knows or intuits has been committed against minorities in the long and violent rule of the white majority in America. The specific phrase “dog whistle,” apparently refers to talking over the heads of minorities, in a manner beyond their intelligence to grasp, so only white people understand the message, just as a dog whistle can only be heard by dogs.

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Republican judge in Texas warns of ‘civil war’ if Obama reelected

From Raw Story:

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Republican judge in Lubbock, Texas told a reporter on Tuesday that he and other officials are making plans for the possibility of “civil war” if President Barack Obama is reelected, warning that should the president cede control of the country to the United Nations, he’d prevent troops from entering the county.

“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Lubbock County Judge Tom Head (pictured, left) asked a reporter for a local Fox News affiliate during an interview that was supposedly about county business.

“I’m thinking the worst,” he deadpanned. “Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy. Now what’s going to happen if we do that? If the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops.”

Head concluded: “I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County, okay? So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him. I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll back you.’ Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”

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Revolving door policy ruining America?

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Romney, Ryan, and The Devil’s Budget: Will America Keep Its Soul?

From Common Dreams:

by George Lakoff and Glenn Smith
Published on Thursday, August 23, 2012 by Common Dreams

America was born with a great soul, a moral view of Democracy in which citizens care about their fellow citizens and join together to take responsibility not just for themselves but for each other, for America as a union, a joint enterprise. The government’s job was to carry out that moral vision and to do so it created what we call The Public, the provision of basic protection and empowerment for all.

From the beginning of America, the Public provided roads and bridges, public schools, hospitals, a national bank, a patent office, police, a justice system, public buildings and records, and more. Since then the Public has expanded as public needs have expanded — sewers, clean water, public transportation, public health and disease control, scientific research, the internet, GPS, an energy grid, parks, and much, much more.

The Public provides freedom, the freedom to use what the Public provides to live a decent life and to start businesses. Without the public, there would be no American way of life, no freedom to live a decent life, to run or work in businesses, or work as a public servant. The Public carries out the work of America’s soul.

Budgets are moral documents. National, state, and local budgets are commitments about where and how to carry out the work of America’s soul, or to abandon it. A national budget that abandons the Public and the freedoms it gives us is selling America’s very soul. Such a budget is the Devil’s Budget. It uses numbers for an evil purpose: to rob us of our basic everyday freedom.

Who would propose a Devil’s budget, and why?

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Romney camp admits Medicare cuts will hit current seniors

From Daily Kos:

Joan McCarter
Tue Aug 21, 2012

That cynical ploy of the Romney/Ryan plan to gut Medicare, but to keep the senior vote by putting those cuts off on the next batch of retirees, is looking increasingly empty. That’s because their plan to repeal Obamacare, and to “restore” the $716 billion in provider cuts, means that Romney/Ryan will either have to make up those funds with revenues or with cuts to current seniors, because without that money, Medicare becomes insolvent by 2016. The Republican allergy to new revenue pretty much determines they’ll squeeze that money out of seniors, and Romney advisers are admitting it.

Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie was the first to admit they’d target current seniors by raising the eligibility age for Medicare. And now another adviser is admitting that benefits cuts are definitely on the table.

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False Piety and the Medicare Debate

From Truth Dig:

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
Posted on Aug 19, 2012

Deficit hawks are worried that the Medicare debate in the presidential campaign will make it impossible to reach a post-election deal to balance the budget. At the same time, much of the punditry focuses on how mean and nasty this campaign is.

Those who are anxious about the deficit should relax. This campaign could actually pave the way for a sensible budget deal. And those who bemoan the rock-’em-sock-’em campaign should stop wringing their hands and get about the business of calling out falsehoods and identifying misleading assertions.

On the budget, the fear is that because President Obama is attacking Paul Ryan’s fiscal road map and because Mitt Romney is responding by assailing the Medicare savings in Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Congress will be scared away from reducing the government’s health care costs. In this view, the campaign will poison the well for future budget talks.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is we cannot have honest budget negotiations until we resolve one big question: Will new revenue—yes, higher taxes—be part of a budget deal or not? The election will settle where the country stands on this proposition.

Despite the fantasies of the trickle-down supply-siders, there is no path to a balanced budget without tax increases. Obama openly supports a tax increase. Romney and Ryan not only oppose higher taxes but also claim they can cut taxes and balance the budget—eventually. If they win, we can look forward to more tax cuts compounding the red ink. Isn’t this what should really concern the deficit hawks?

If Obama’s critics want to argue that the tax increases the president is endorsing (his centerpiece is letting the Clinton-era income tax rates return for those earning more than $250,000 a year) will not be enough in the long run, they make a valid point. But at least Obama is willing to acknowledge the need for some revenue. The other side would just keep on cutting taxes. Those who care about a “balanced” budget deal should acknowledge where balance lies in this debate.

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