From the Fringe in 1992, Buchanan’s Words Now Seem Mainstream

From a Nazi Sympathizer’s fringe speech to mainstream Republican Policy in 20 short years.

The late Molly Ivins said this about Buchanan’s speech, “I hear it sounded better in the original German.” Alluding to Buchanan’s spirited defense of a Nazi Death Camp Officer.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/politics/from-the-fringe-in-1992-patrick-j-buchanans-words-now-seem-mainstream.html

By
Published: August 29, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. — Twenty years ago, Patrick J. Buchanan rocked the Republican convention in Houston by declaring there was a “cultural war” taking place for the soul of America, denouncing the Democratic Party as one that supported abortion, radical feminism and the “homosexual rights movement.”

“The agenda Clinton and Clinton would impose on America — abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat — that’s change, all right,” said Mr. Buchanan, a conservative commentator who was a rival to President George Bush in the 1992 campaign. “But it is not the kind of change America wants.”

The speech — along with similarly sharp-edged addresses by the evangelist Pat Robertson and Marilyn Quayle, the wife of Vice President Dan Quayle — pushed issues like abortion, gay rights, religion and the role of women in society to the front of the stage, often loudly. Supporters of Mr. Bush pointed to the tone of the convention as one of the reasons he lost the election that November to Bill Clinton.

Yet Republicans gathered here to nominate Mitt Romney suggest that those speeches would hardly give them pause today. What many viewed as the fringes of the Republican Party 20 years ago have moved closer to the mainstream — evidence, Mr. Buchanan said, of the extent to which a Republican establishment that was once relatively moderate on social issues has been pushed rightward by grass-roots conservatives.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/politics/from-the-fringe-in-1992-patrick-j-buchanans-words-now-seem-mainstream.html

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on From the Fringe in 1992, Buchanan’s Words Now Seem Mainstream

Miners forced to attend Romney’s rally

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Miners forced to attend Romney’s rally

Deficit Hawk Hypocrites

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/29-3

by Bernie Sanders
Published on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by Common Dreams

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republican Party are now mounting a massive attack against Social Security and other programs. Using “deficit reduction” as their rationale, they are attempting to dismantle every major piece of legislation passed since the 1930s that provides support and security to working families.

They are being aided by at least 23 billionaire families, led by the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this campaign as a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Despite paying the lowest effective tax rate in decades, the billionaires want more tax breaks for the very rich. Despite the fact that the elimination of strong regulations caused the Wall Street meltdown and a terrible recession, the billionaires want more deregulation. Despite outsourcing of millions of good-paying American jobs to China and other low-wage countries, the billionaires want more unfettered free trade.

At this pivotal moment in American history, it’s important to note how we got into this deficit crisis, who was responsible and what is the fairest way to address it.

Let us never forget that when Bill Clinton left office in 2001, this country enjoyed a healthy $236 billion SURPLUS.

Under George W. Bush and his fellow “deficit hawks,” we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush and Congress “forgot” to pay for those wars that will end up adding some $3 trillion to our national debt. Where were Paul Ryan and the other “deficit hawks” when we spent trillions on wars and added to the deficit? They voted for those policies.

Under George W. Bush and his fellow “deficit hawks,” we gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country, which cost $1 trillion over a decade. Where were Paul Ryan and the other “deficit hawks” when Bush and Congress spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for the very rich and added to our national debt? They voted for those policies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/29-3

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Deficit Hawk Hypocrites

College Students Are Going Homeless and Hungry — And Corporate America Is Trying to Exploit Them

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/college-students-are-going-homeless-and-hungry-and-corporate-america-trying-exploit-them

A look at the growing numbers of homeless and hungry college students trying desperately to make ends meet–and those who are willing to exploit them.

By Adam Turl
August 27, 2012

As the mainstream press frets that the much-touted “economic-recovery” appears to have lost steam, the economic crisis continues to escalate for ordinary people.

With official unemployment holding steady at 9.5 percent (real unemployment is much higher), and with the state budget cuts producing yet more tuition increases, a growing phenomenon is sweeping the nation: homeless and hungry college students.

National Public Radio (NPR) reported in late July: “For many college students and their families, rising tuition costs and a tough economy are presenting new challenges as college bills come in. This has led to a little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness.”

While no exact figures are available, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth reports a large increase in homeless students.

“We’re hearing from the college presidents and leadership that more and more students are struggling,” Michelle Asha Cooper of the Institute for Higher Education told reporters. “Some are taking out pretty large amounts of student loans to finance their education as well as their living costs. Some are enrolling part time, some are even dropping out.”

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) even created an “Economic Crisis Response Team” to help homeless and hungry students stay enrolled. NPR reported the story of one such UCLA student, Diego Sepulveda, who ended up homeless after losing his full-time job at Subway. Now Sepulveda alternates between sleeping in the library, student center and friend’s couches, catching occasional showers in a school gym.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/college-students-are-going-homeless-and-hungry-and-corporate-america-trying-exploit-them

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on College Students Are Going Homeless and Hungry — And Corporate America Is Trying to Exploit Them

Paul Ryan and the GOP’s New “Dog Whistle Politics”

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11204-paul-ryan-and-the-gops-new-dog-whistle-politics

By Joan Walsh
Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I have a problem with liberals who dismiss the white working class as hopelessly Republican and racist, because they ignore something interesting: in 2008, our first black president got a higher share of their votes than any recent white Democrat in this generation, including John Kerry, Al Gore, and even Bill Clinton. A New York Times analysis found that Obama won 46 percent of whites without a college degree who earned between $30,000 and $75,000 a year, to Bill Clinton’s 44 percent. He kept John McCain’s edge with that group to 6 points, when George W. Bush won them by 35 points against John Kerry four years earlier. And in some swing states, such as Ohio, the “Obama coalition” ultimately included the white working class.

Yes, many of those voters raced back into the Republican column in 2010, when the GOP ran up a 30-point edge in midterm congressional races, and for much of 2011, Democrats talked about a strategy to keep the White House without winning Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, key swing states he took in 2008. But I’m not sure why we’d conclude that those voters’ problem was mainly racial, or that they had run back to the GOP for good. Had they shaken off their racism in 2008, only to have it return like a stubborn virus in 2010? Did the president become more black? What if their reaction derived from frustration with Democratic leaders who hadn’t pursued an economic turnaround agenda aggressively enough, at a time when unemployment stood at more than 10 percent—and almost 15 percent for whites without a college degree?

The GOP’s new dog-whistle politics, trashing white people in coded language once reserved for blacks, opens new opportunities for Democrats—if they can help those white people translate the new GOP rhetoric. In a 2012 debate, then-front-runner Rick Santorum approvingly quoted from Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, hoping his listeners wouldn’t know that this time Murray was scolding white people. After Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke supported President Obama’s insurance regulations mandating cost-free contraception, conservatives began trashing the young white law student as a “welfare queen” wanting birth control on the taxpayers’ dime.

But “dependent voters” aren’t just a problem to the GOP because they eat up our tax dollars. “Republican supporters will continue to decrease every year as more Americans become dependent on the government,” Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint wrote in his shrill 2012 book Now or Never. “Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans.” Wisconsin conservative representative Paul Ryan, he of the “Ryan Plan” to abolish Medicare, divides the electorate into “makers” and “takers.”

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11204-paul-ryan-and-the-gops-new-dog-whistle-politics

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Paul Ryan and the GOP’s New “Dog Whistle Politics”

The Transsexual Counseling Service and National Transsexual Counseling Unit’s Purpose

We weren’t  political advocacy organizations.

We couldn’t legally take political positions.

The Transsexual Counseling Service ran under the aegis of and was funded with War on Poverty funds from the EEOC.

The National Transsexual Counseling Unit which Jan and I ran was an extension of Reed Erickson’s non-profit Erickson Educational Foundation.

We were service organizations, smaller in scope than what be came the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center, but a service center nonetheless.

I had been a radical, for a period of time I described myself as a revolutionary. I was following the dictum issued by Huey P. Newton, when he told us we needed to serve the people of our communities and affect non-violent change through the political process.

Jan was a Sociology major at San Francisco State, who viewed the office as both a place to do field research and to help other sisters.

The roots of our organization were in COG, which had grown out of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots.  Some said COG stood for “Conversion, Our Goal”, others said it meant “Change, Our Goal.”

Either way the main mission of our organization was to help ourselves and our peers get through the process of changing sex. We served young T to F people almost exclusively, due to that being the demographic that originally developed from the Compton’s riots.  While the people we were seeing  were still mainly young and of a similar age demographic they tended to be more middle class and better educated than the people who had rioted in 1966.

We were well aware our organization wasn’t representative of the spectrum of people who were getting SRS from the Stanford Program.  We went to the group sessions and met the older sisters who had established careers and were often married to women and parents.

Some us envied those sisters because they had careers and stable lives in suburbia, whereas many of us had our educations abruptly terminated and wound up struggling for survival after being told to get out by our parents.

In many ways Jan and I took our cues from organizations that had helped runaways in the Haight Ashbury during 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

When people wrote to us telling us of their plans to come to SF we told them what they needed to bring.

We taught them how to get ID, who to see to get hormones.  We told them where to get their applications for the Stanford Program, when to call and who to ask for.

We acted as a mail drop for a few.

We found people, someone who would let them crash at their place until they could get a place of their own.

We told people how to dress and act when they saw a Doctor.

Some people were very ready to be angrily confrontational with Doctors who were as progressive as they came and who were eager to help.

We didn’t give people a script.  We told them to tell the truth to the doctors.  That the doctors were willing to help.

We encountered a few seriously mentally ill people.  One was very threatening and seemed on the edge of losing it, others were suicidal or had serious psychiatric problems.  We tried to talk those people into going to see actual professionals.

We helped people connect with sensitive people in both the welfare and employment offices.

We had lawyers and friendly bail bonds offices we could refer people to.

Mostly though we listened and offered our own experiences.  Shared what we knew and learned from what others had to offer.

And after our time of doing it was up we passed it on to the most competent of our friends who was crazy enough to take over the responsibility.

By the time the office closed in 1974 Dr. Brown and a bunch of vultures had come to town.  Reed Erickson had moved on and grants were drying up.  I was living in Los Angeles by then and my successor Leslie had her SRS.

Times had changed and so had the sisters coming to San Francisco, our office with its particular services had become some what of an anachronism.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The Transsexual Counseling Service and National Transsexual Counseling Unit’s Purpose

The Newsroom – Tea Party is the American Taliban

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The Newsroom – Tea Party is the American Taliban

GOP Platform: Abortion Ban Approved By Republicans In Tampa

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/platform-abortion_n_1837571.html

By Philip Elliot and Alan Fram
08/28/12

TAMPA, Fla. — Republicans emphatically approved a toughly worded party platform at their national convention Tuesday that would ban all abortions and gay marriages, reshape Medicare into a voucher-like program and cut taxes to energize the economy and create jobs.

The document opens by warning that while the American Dream has long been of equal opportunity for everyone, “Today that American Dream is at risk.” It pledges that the GOP will “begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes and regulates.”

Both parties routinely approve platforms at their conventions every four years, meant to encapsulate their principles and goals. Much of their details are customarily ignored when it comes to actually governing.

Even so, a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found more people interested in the GOP platform than in the upcoming acceptance speeches by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan. The survey found that 52 percent said they were interested in learning about the Republican platform, compared to 44 percent interested in Romney’s speech and 46 percent interested in Ryan’s.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/platform-abortion_n_1837571.html

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on GOP Platform: Abortion Ban Approved By Republicans In Tampa

The 99% Take on the Republican National Convention

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/99-take-republican-national-convention

Despite mixed feelings about Obama, protesters fight Mitt Romney, the ‘King of the 1%’

By Arun Gupta
August 28, 2012

Politics is an elaborate chess match, and in St, Petersburg one small strike was staged against the Republican National convention on Aug. 26 that revealed the thrust of President Obama’s 2012 re-election strategy.

As panicky Republicans cancelled the first day of the convention on Monday because of Tropical Storm Isaac, the focus on Sunday was the “RNC Welcome Event” at Tropicana Field. These days no major convention event is complete without a counter-protest, and in downtown St. Petersburg nearly 500 people gathered Sunday to march to the sports stadium and voice their displeasure at what they derided as “the world’s largest  cocktail party .”

Given the spitting rain and gusts, the turnout was better than expected. And given the months of  police and press hype that a mob of mayhem-wreaking anarchists would crash the RNC, the protest rally around Mirror Lake seemed more like a festive Sunday in the park.

A couple of hundred people milled about as Dave Rovics belted out crowd pleasers like “ I’m a Better Anarchist than You .” A handful of buses pulled up and disgorged more protesters who came from far away as Miami, New York city and Wisconsin. The rally and protest was organized by the  Florida Consumer Action Network , a local grassroots organization focused on public policy issues.

Few anarchists were in evidence, apart from a scrum of fidgety black-clad youth who melted into the rally after drawing stares. It felt like an Occupy-related event with a giant puppet of Romney tagged with a “King of the 1%,” and chants of “We are the 99%.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/99-take-republican-national-convention

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The 99% Take on the Republican National Convention

Your Boss Can Tell You To Campaign for Todd Akin – or You’re Fired!

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Your Boss Can Tell You To Campaign for Todd Akin – or You’re Fired!

Newt Gingrich at the RNC: The wealthy are more ‘noble’

“Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Denis Diderot

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/28/newt-gingrich-at-the-rnc-the-wealthy-are-more-noble/

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) might not have the role he initially wanted at the Republican National Convention — that of nominee — but he’s nonetheless using his time wisely. With the help of the RNC, he’s launching Newt U, an apparently ongoing effort in partnership with the Washington Post Company’s for-profit education arm, Kaplan. At the end of the second session of Newt U on August 28, 2012, he explained more about the thinking behind the his and Kaplan’s efforts.

“There are three key intellectual arguments that we have to get much better at making, and this is part of the reason that we are creating the whole concept of a Newt University and developing our site at newtuniversity.com, because we think these kind of arguments our own activists, our own volunteers, and next generation need, because the schools are so far to the left we have to create online capability to sort of counter the false information, the false ideologies,” he told the crowd.

Among the “false information” and “false ideologies” Newt U intends to arm its students to counter is the supposed idea that public service is noble and the personal acquisition of money is not.

“We need to reassert,” he said, “the nobility of creating jobs and wealth.” Though it was Gingrich whose supporters, during the primary campaign, released a long-form ad attacking current nominee Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) method of wealth creation later defended by Gingrich, he told today’s crowd: “If you listen to people like Obama, there’s this contempt that sort of says you know, ‘If you go into public service and you end up as a good bureaucrat, that’s really noble,’ but if you’re to take the same skill level and go out here and just create wealth, it’s ‘That’s really not noble, that’s somehow beneath us.’”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/28/newt-gingrich-at-the-rnc-the-wealthy-are-more-noble/

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Newt Gingrich at the RNC: The wealthy are more ‘noble’

The Natural Use of a Woman? Making Babies for God’s Army No Matter the Risk

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/27/natural-use-woman-jim-bob-duggar-says-its-fun-trying-baby-20

by Vyckie Garrison, No Longer Qivering
August 28, 2012

During a recent interview on the Today Show, Jim Bob Duggar blurted out, “It’s fun trying!” when asked if he and Michelle were actively seeking to have another baby.  Today’s host, Savannah Guthrie responded to the mega-dad’s salacious remark with, “Jim Bob – you sly dog!”

Viewers may have come away with the impression that TLC’s “19 & Counting” celebrity parents, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar hold very casual, perhaps even avant-garde attitudes regarding sex and sexuality.

But a quick look beneath the surface reveals that America’s most celebrated Quiverfull couple believe and espouse decidedly unhealthy ideas when it comes to sex and babymaking.

Although Jim Bob makes frequent displays of romantic affection toward his prolific wife, Michelle, which would suggest that the couple might enjoy sex for non-procreative purposes, the “biblical family values” advocates– whose “literal” interpretations of scripture inspire the Duggars to receive each and every pregnancy as an unmitigated blessing from God–also teach that the primary purpose of woman is to conceive and bear sons, i.e., “arrows” for God’s army.

Consider Romans 1:27: “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Quiverfull movement leader, Mary Pride, in her seminal book, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism and Back to Reality, offers the following interpretation of “the natural use of the woman” …

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/27/natural-use-woman-jim-bob-duggar-says-its-fun-trying-baby-20

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on The Natural Use of a Woman? Making Babies for God’s Army No Matter the Risk

Paul Ryan’s Social Extremism

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/opinion/paul-ryans-social-extremism.html

Editorial
August 26, 2012

Mitt Romney, who will be officially nominated this week as the Republican nominee for president, appears to trim his social convictions to the party’s prevailing winds. There is no doubt, however, about where the party’s vice-presidential candidate stands. A long history of social extremism makes Paul Ryan an emblem of the Republican tack to the far right.

 Mr. Romney’s choice of Mr. Ryan carried some risks, considering Mr. Ryan’s advocacy of overhauling Medicare, but it has sent the strongest signal of solidarity to those who have made the party unrecognizable to moderates. Strident conservatives had been uneasy with Mr. Romney, but it is the rest of the country that should be nervous about conservatives’ now-enthusiastic acceptance of the Republican ticket.

 Mr. Ryan is best known as the face of Republican budget-cutting, though his ideology runs much deeper. For years, he has been a reliable vote against workplace equity for women, opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to file wage-discrimination lawsuits, and two similar measures.

The full outpouring of hard-right enthusiasm is based, to a large degree, on Mr. Ryan’s sweeping opposition to abortion rights. He has long wanted to ban access to abortion even in the case of rape, the ideology espoused in this year’s Republican platform. (Mr. Romney favors a rape exception.) Mr. Ryan also co-sponsored, along with Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, a bill that would have narrowed the definition of rape to reduce the number of poor women who can get an abortion through Medicaid.

Continue reading a: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/opinion/paul-ryans-social-extremism.html

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Paul Ryan’s Social Extremism

To Republicans, women are simply the sum of their parts

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/republicans-women-simply-sum-parts

The GOP’s adoption of an anti-abortion platform is further indication of a party that has no clue about reproductive life


guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 August 2012

There’s no doubt that Todd Akin’s stunningly misguided understanding of female anatomy, as seen in his claim that raped women can’t get pregnant, represented yet another instance of the Republican party’s estrangement from science. But the GOP’s refusal to grapple with facts goes beyond biology: there’s some very basic mathematics that they appear ignorant of as well.

The polling showing just how unpopular the party’s official anti-abortion position (adopted by the platform committee this week and identical to the policy that Akin tried to use junk science to support) is as follows: just 20% of Americans believe abortion should be “illegal in all circumstances”, compared to 25% who say that it should “always be legal” and the vast majority – 52% – who say that it should be “legal only under certain circumstances”.

You can make the party’s official position compatible with the more moderate view of the actual Republican candidates only with a kind of magical thinking. This was well put by the party chairman Reince Priebus earlier this week: “This is the platform of the Republican party. It’s not the platform of Mitt Romney.” Ta da! Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain. Hey, look: there’s Ann!

Ann Romney and 14 other women will speak at the Republican national convention (where the platform will be officially adopted) – almost half of the full list of those invited to address the gathering. But those women dress a campaign stage on which actual female elected officials are outnumbered by men about 10 to one, a gender gap that probably doesn’t alarm Republican political operatives so much as the equally stark gap that exists in the polls.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/republicans-women-simply-sum-parts

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on To Republicans, women are simply the sum of their parts

Why won’t God make hurricanes disappear?

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why won’t God make hurricanes disappear?

More Maine parents skipping their kids’ vaccinations as whooping cough spreads

From The Bangor Daily News:  http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/24/health/more-maine-parents-skipping-their-kids-vaccinations-as-whooping-cough-spreads/

By Jackie Farwell, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 24, 2012

New federal data show more Maine parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, a trend that worries health providers as an outbreak of whooping cough continues to worsen and students prepare to go back to school.

Vaccines are crucial to sparing both children and adults from whooping cough and other dangerous and preventable diseases, said Dr. Michael Ross of Husson Pediatrics in Bangor.

“Lack of their use leads to outbreaks like this,” he said.

Maine has recorded 411 cases of whooping cough this year, nearly five times the number of cases reported at this time in 2011. Most cases of the highly contagious disease have struck children ages 7-19. Within that group, two out of every 1,000 children ages 7-10 have been diagnosed with whooping cough in Maine this year.

The outbreak ranks Maine among the top 10 states in the nation for the incidence of whooping cough, or pertussis, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Whooping cough, which can spread through the coughing and sneezing of an infected person, has touched every county in the state. Cumberland, Somerset, Penobscot and Androscoggin counties have been hit the hardest.

The rise in Maine mirrors a nationwide trend. Washington state has declared an epidemic of whooping cough with more than 3,500 cases this year. The disease has been blamed for 13 deaths in the United States in 2012, mostly among infants under 3 months old.

Continue reading at:  http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/24/health/more-maine-parents-skipping-their-kids-vaccinations-as-whooping-cough-spreads/

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on More Maine parents skipping their kids’ vaccinations as whooping cough spreads

Along with the Arctic Ice, The Rich World’s Smugness Will Melt

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/27/arctic-ice-rich-world-disaster

The belief that Europe and America will be hit least by climate change is in ruins. Yet all we do is try to profit from disaster


guardian.co.uk, Monday 27 August 2012

There are no comparisons to be made. This is not like war or plague or a stockmarket crash. We are ill-equipped, historically and psychologically, to understand it, which is one of the reasons why so many refuse to accept that it is happening.

What we are seeing, here and now, is the transformation of the atmospheric physics of this planet. Three weeks before the likely minimum, the melting of Arctic sea ice has already broken the record set in 2007. The daily rate of loss is now 50% higher than it was that year. The daily sense of loss – of the world we loved and knew – cannot be quantified so easily.

The Arctic has been warming roughly twice as quickly as the rest of the northern hemisphere. This is partly because climate breakdown there is self-perpetuating. As the ice melts, for example, exposing the darker sea beneath, heat that would previously have been reflected back into space is absorbed.

This great dissolution, of ice and certainties, is happening so much faster than most climate scientists predicted that one of them reports: “It feels as if everything I’ve learned has become obsolete.” In its last assessment, published in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that “in some projections, Arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century”. These were the most extreme forecasts in the panel’s range. Some scientists now forecast that the disappearance of Arctic sea-ice in late summer could occur in this decade or the next.

As I’ve warned repeatedly, but to little effect, the IPCC’s assessments tend to be conservative. This is unsurprising when you see how many people have to approve them before they are published. There have been a few occasions – such as its estimate of the speed at which glaciers would be lost in the Himalayas – on which the panel has overstated the case. But it looks as if these will be greatly outnumbered by the occasions on which the panel has understated it.

The melting disperses another belief: that the temperate parts of the world – where most of the rich nations are located – will be hit last and least, while the poorer nations will be hit first and worst. New knowledge of the way in which the destruction of the Arctic sea ice affects northern Europe and North America suggests that this is no longer true. A paper published earlier this year in Geophysical Research Letters shows that Arctic warming is likely to be responsible for the extremes now hammering the once-temperate nations.

Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/27/arctic-ice-rich-world-disaster

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Along with the Arctic Ice, The Rich World’s Smugness Will Melt

Compton’s Cafeteria: Transsexual and Transgender People’s Stonewall

I spent the summer of ’66  working in the resorts of Lake George Village as a dishwasher and kitchen assistant.

Early that summer I discovered John Rechy’s book: City of Night.

City of Night gave me a road map to a parallel universe that existed within the straight world but which was largely invisible to the straight world. From that book I learned the skills I would need to survive in the pre-Stonewall world of gay men and queens.

The world Rechy wrote about in City of Night was already being superseded by the forces that were building towards the night in June 1969. The gay world was more visible than it had been in the mileau Rechy described in his book.

There had been small riots by gay and lesbian people in various places including Coopers Donuts in downtown Los Angeles and new organizations were taking the place of the original homophile organizations of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Gays and Lesbians in San Francisco already had active political organizations, filled with men and women who worked in the financial district and lived in various districts scattered through out San Francisco.

In August of 1966 there was a riot that centered around Compton Cafeteria on Turk Street in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. (See) RServen at Daily Kos  The Coffee and Donut Riots

It didn’t make the papers and wasn’t viewed as a major historical event in Gay and Lesbian history.

You see the transsexual and transgender people, the “queens” who rioted that summer were lumpen proles, welfare recipients, drug users and sex workers, only they weren’t called sex workers, they were called whores.

They were the lowest of the low, living at the time in an area that would include the meanest of the mean streets of San Francisco.

But like Stonewall what came of the riot was far more important than the riot itself.

Organizations were born and nurtured in the basement meeting rooms of  Cecil William’s Glide Memorial Church.  A liaison with the San Francisco Police Department was established and Police community Relations Officer Elliott Blackstone became someone we could trust to hear our complaints of police brutality and injustice.

Two different organizations grew out of the riots CATS run by Jerry and Louise Durkin and COG which became the Transsexual Counseling Service run at first by Kathy Grunier, Wendy Kohler and Mandy Taylor.

In November of 1966 Johns Hopkins became the first major university medical center in the US to announce having a sex reassignment surgery program.

Mean while in San Francisco the Center For Special Problems and Joel Fort’s Fort Help started dispensing hormones and counseling to the emerging transsexual community and those who later became the transgender community.

I first heard rumors regarding how transsexuals in San Francisco were becoming organized from a transkid, who was just emerging as a woman. I met her in Greenwich Village in the spring of 1967.

By the late fall of 1967 I was in the Haight Ashbury, learning the sad fiction of the Summer of Love in what had become a hell hole of drugs and violence.

Jim Driscoll was working as a night clerk in a residential hotel on Turk Street, a couple of blocks from Compton’s Cafeteria.  He documented one of those moments in history when things were changing.

The women who started the Transsexual Counseling Service were now running it under the auspices of the War on Poverty and had an office on Third St. and Mission.

The Haight was a terrifying place.  I lived with several activists including a young man named Morey, who I was deeply in love with. I mooned over him and was his constant companion, he was completely oblivious.

I came out in early 1969 and found my way to both the Center For Special Problems and the Transsexual Counseling Service, where I met sisters who had participated in those riots.

They were eager to put that period behind them, to move out of the ghetto and hopefully into a straight job and a middle class life.

The next year I met Gina and Parish, they had both been at the riot.  Gina claimed to be one of the instigators who threw a sugar dispenser at one of the cops.

Even though they were doing sex work they didn’t want to remain in the ghetto and talked about integrating into society beyond the barriers that had limited their lives.

By 1971 the original people who founded the Transsexual Counseling Service had left.  They had their SRS, the funding was being cut and they used their job skills to find other positions.

Jan Maxwell and I took over running the Center.  We secured a grant from Reed Erickson, a brother who operated the Erickson Educational Foundation.

We opened a store front office up Turk Street from Compton’s Cafeteria and across the street from the hotel where Jim Driscoll had written his thesis.

I had discovered that one of the bars Rechy had described in City of Night was still there and Compton’s was still there, the sign on the hotel was faded and they no long rented to TS/TG folks.

But Jan and I were seeing a different generation of transsexuals coming to our office for help.  Jim Dricoll had written about how the process of coming out separated the queens from the transsexuals and we saw very few queens.

It was the era of free clinic provided hormones and the era of gay liberation.  Everyone who took hormones claimed the label transsexual and those who didn’t take hormones chose to call themselves gay men who did drag.

My friend Gina who started out claiming to be transsexual returned to living as a man.

Street wisdom became: “The surgery determines who is really transsexual and who is really a queen.”

It was never that simple but street wisdom is rarely given to nuance.

Elliott Blackstone remained a constant, a supporter who was too often paternalistic and too often clueless but nonetheless stood by us.

When Jan and I left the center it was called the National Transsexual Counseling Unit.  We got the grant continued and handed it over to a friend Leslie St Clair, who ran it for a year letting the project fall by the wayside after her tenure and the grant ran out.

I moved to Los Angeles where I photographically documented a group of trans-sex workers who were similar to the people of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.

Even that scene was a fleeting moment.

More than a dozen years ago Susan Stryker approached me to work on a documentary project that came to be known as Screaming Queens:  The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria.

It was released in 2005 and made the rounds of the festivals.

Most of what I knew of the riot was second, perhaps even third hand.  The people who had actually been there were scattered to the winds.  It was a history lacking even in artifacts, almost mythical.

So fleeting that it could only have occurred at that time and place yet so pivotal.

Jan and I were so different from the founders of the Transsexual Counseling Service. Our coming out the year of Stonewall and post-Summer of Love gave us a different perspective.

Our lives and the lives of the people who came through the doors of our Center were less defined by the ghetto than the lives of our sisters a mere six years earlier had been.

Everyone I knew who was involved with the various incarnations of the Transsexual Counseling Service/National Transsexual Counseling Unit has either died or disappeared leaving me to tell the story.

My opinion of the film Screaming Queens is that it lacks focus.  People realized too late that something important happened and couldn’t locate the original participants.

For all that it is still an important documentary.

My friend, Kelli Busey at Planet Transgender pointed out a problem last Saturday.

Frameline Stop Holding The Screaming Queens Hostage

Frameline, the distributor of this documentary is demanding $200 for a copy.

I was given a copy only when I complained that I hadn’t seen it and now lived in a place where it was unlikely to be shown.

This is pretty damn unconscionable considering how those of us who were interview were paid a tiny honorarium for our participation.  The documentary was made on a shoestring budget.

It was shown at all the LGBT Film festivals and on PBS

A reasonable price for this documentary would be the standard $20.00.  It doesn’t even merit the pricing of a Criterion film.

Addendum:  Kelli was mistaken and this film is available on Amazon for sale or rental.

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria

Transsexual and transgender people are often ignorant of any of our history prior to Stonewall.  They may know of Christine Jorgensen but often know very little else about even the recent past of between forty and fifty years ago.

I have a PDF copy of Jim Driscoll’s article regarding the period just after the Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria.

Write me @  suzan.wbt@gmail.com and I will send you an attachment of the PDF.

Republican party platform draft supports African countries which persecute gays

From Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:  http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2012/08/republican-party-platform-draft.html

By Alvin McEwen
Monday, August 27, 2012

Reposted with permission

According to Think Progress, in a draft of its platform, the Republican party is taking a stand on the point of the persecution of gays on the African continent.

But it’s for the countries persecuting gays:

Recently, the Republican National Convention accidentally leaked a draft of the party’s foreign policy platform. The subsection on foreign aid contained a rather peculiar criticism of President Obama’s policy in the area:

The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time, faith-based groups — the sector that has had the best track record in promoting lasting development — have been excluded from grants because they will not conform to the administration’s social agenda. We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.

Think Progress points out the truth of the matter:

 . . . while it’s true that the Obama campaign has worked to protect gay rights internationally, foreign aid dollars aren’t going to marriage equality campaigns — U.S. money is being used to finance legal and journalistic efforts to protect LGBT Africans from being murdered or jailed for their sexual orientation, a point the President made clear in an official memo on the topic:

I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world — whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation…Agencies engaged abroad are directed to strengthen existing efforts to effectively combat the criminalization by foreign governments of LGBT status or conduct and to expand efforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBT status or conduct.

Think Progress is also quick to the point out that the claim that the Obama Administration imposing “legalized abortion” is wrong.

However, I am struck by how the Republican party is standing up for the perpetrators of anti-gay persecution. In speaking against the Obama Administration on this, the GOP is giving tacit support the wholesale persecution of gays in African countries such as Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa. The video below features how lesbians in that country are victims of an awful practice called “corrective rape.”

Whether you believe homosexuality is a sin or not, I think we should all agree that those who call themselves Christians should not lend any support – no matter how large or how small – to this mess.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Republican party platform draft supports African countries which persecute gays

Open Letter To Dana Milbank, Anti-Gay Hate Group Enabler

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/open-letter-to-dana-milbank-anti-gay-hate-group-enabler/politics/2012/08/27/47143

by Scott Rose
on August 27, 2012

Reposted with Permission

On August 16, 2012, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank published an article in which he despicably alleged that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is as bad for calling the Family Research Council (FRC) an anti-gay hate group as the Family Research Council is for spreading the hateful lies and incitements that got it classified as an anti-gay hate group.

Milbank, furthermore, put his full faith and credit as a Washington Post columnist behind the following statement from the anti-gay-rights National Organization For Marriage:

“The National Organization for Marriage,” Milbank said, “which opposes gay marriage, is right to say that the attack ‘is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end’.’ (Bolding added).

NOM as well as the Family Research Council have been using Milbank’s advertisement for them all across the land as “proof” that they are not anti-gay hate groups.

TNCRM’s Scott Rose writes this Open Letter to Dana Milbank:

Mr. Milbank:

You wrote your column – Hateful Speech on Hate Groups – in apparent ignorance of the National Organization for Marriage’s incitements to anti-gay violence.

NOM sponsored an anti-gay hate rally where its chosen speakers yelled through megaphones that homosexuals are “worthy to death.”

The NOM-sponsored anti-gay hate rally in that video took place on May, 2011 in New York City.

Since that date, there have been umpteen crimes of anti-LGBT violence in New York City, across American and beyond.

I’ll give you just one example for now, though.

Kardin Ulysse as an eighth grade student in 2012 was subjected to a pattern of anti-gay criminal harassment and attacks in his public NYC school, attacks which school administration did not do enough to stop.

On the last anti-gay attack he suffered, Kardin was blinded in one eye by an attacker who yelled “Fucking faggot!” at him.

Mr. Milbank — I challenge you to look Kardin Ulysse in his one remaining eye, and to tell him that the National Organization for Marriage — whose speakers say that homosexuals are “worthy to death” — is correct when it says that “labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end.”

When are you going to do that Mr. Milbank?

WHEN?

When are you going to look Kardin Ulysse in his one remaining eye, and tell him that even though his attackers yelled “Fucking faggot!” at him when they blinded him in one eye, you think that the National Organization for Marriage — (which sponsors anti-gay hate rallies where its speakers say that homosexuals are “worthy to death“) — is correct when it says that “labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end”?

On the off chance that you would ever renounce your arrogance and ignorance in publishing the column you did, I want to propose a television show scenario during which you will be able to look Kardin Ulysse in his one remaining eye.

I’m sure that Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper and/or some other well-known figure would agree to broadcasting this scenario.

First, viewers will see the video of the National Organization for Marriage anti-gay hate rally where a NOM speaker yelled through a megaphone that homosexuals are “worthy to death.”

Then, the program host will ask NOM founder and mastermind Robert George — who also is on the board of the Family Research Council, and who wrote the anti-gay-rights NOM pledge signed by Mitt Romney — why nobody from NOM ever apologized for NOM’s anti-gay “worthy to death” rally, despite all the calls for an apology.

Next, both Robert P. George and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins can explain why they campaign so hard against the inclusion of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity and expression” as protected classes in school anti-bullying policies.

After those two anti-gay hate group leaders explain why LGBT students shouldn’t be properly protected in schools, you will look Kardin Uylsse in his one remaining eye, and tell him that you think NOM is correct when it says that ”labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end” — even though NOM sponsors anti-gay hate rallies where its speakers yell through megaphones that homosexuals are “worthy to death.”

How about it Mr. Milbank?

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Open Letter To Dana Milbank, Anti-Gay Hate Group Enabler