Good article about how Corporations manipulate people in to buying stuff they don’t really want and spending money that puts them in debt slavery.
Also a very good reason to avoid 3D stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although television advertising creates that same desire without real need. I became aware of this when I found myself seriously jonesing for one of the new iPod Nanos around Thanksgiving when they were super saturating the air waves for one. Apple is really good at that and I find myself jonesing for their products when in real life the last Apple product I thought was really cool was the Apple II.
It’s one of those dark side aspects of psychology, the manipulation of people into thinking or doing something not in their best interests.
I’m reading Amy Goodman’s: The Exception to the Rulers : Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them. It is from about 2005, in it she discusses the manipulation that dragged us into the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires.
There is something really immoral about this sort of manipulation of people, something that make me think progressive people should condemn this sort of manipulation.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/suffer-spend-repeat.html?ref=opinion
By Oliver Burkeman
Published: December 8, 2012
In these final weeks before Christmas, it may strike you that retailers have gone out of their way to make holiday shopping as unpleasant an experience as possible. The odd truth is that they probably have. And there’s a reason for that: evidence suggests that the less comfortable you are during the seasonal shopping spree, the more money you’ll spend.
Take those Christmas songs — the ones that begin to play in stores in November and last for what seems like eternity. Few of us would claim to love listening to “The Little Drummer Boy” over and over; just last month, customer complaints reached such heights in Canada that Shoppers Drug Mart, the country’s largest pharmacy chain, caved to consumer pressure and announced it would switch off Christmas music “until further notice.”
But what we love or don’t love isn’t really the point. (The Canadian chain’s ban lasted only a couple of weeks.) Music played at high volumes, for example, may be irritating, but researchers from Penn State and the National University of Singapore concluded it was one of several factors that leads to overstimulation and “a momentary loss of self-control, thus enhancing the likelihood of impulse purchase.”
Those who create shopping environments really don’t care what music you like to listen to. A classic 1982 study by the marketing professor Ronald E. Milliman, now at Western Kentucky University, found that slower tempos make it more likely that shoppers will linger inside stores — and spend more money. If “White Christmas” keeps you in the store, who cares whether you like its languid phrasings?
Not that faster music slows spending. The researchers at Penn State and in Singapore found that upbeat music can, in fact, overstimulate shoppers and prompt impulsive purchases. Other studies suggest that classical music incites more spending than Top 40 tunes when played in wine stores and that songs with “pro-social” lyrics result in higher tips for restaurant staff.
Smell is another part of the retailer’s arsenal. Like music, smells are selected to encourage spending, not to make your shopping experience more comfortable.
Eric Spangenberg, a Washington State University professor who specializes in the marketing power of scent, explains how retailers try to fill stores with what he calls “congruent” smells, meaning aromas that customers connect with the season or seasonal products.
All week long I’ve been running posts about: “GID Removed from the DSM.”
Hopefully, you’ve noticed, I’ve run a number of posts that warned against excessive exuberance.
I think Julia Serano, Mercedes Allen nailed it when they basically said nothing changes.
My take on GID and its return to its original name is this: Did any one really expect a bunch of people making money off a bunch of sketchy at best “diagnoses” to kill one of their money streams?
Do you have any idea how much in student loans these clowns needed to borrow to get their degree in psychiatry?
Where’s your compassion for these peddlers of religion disguised as science, these tinpot satraps, with degrees who run power trips that impact the lives of TS and TG people?
Never mind that the people behind this diagnosis seem as sketchy and as closely aligned with the religious right as Paul Cameron, Charles Socarides and George Reker.
Paul McHugh is allegedly part of Opus Dei. Bailey, Blanchard and Zucker are commonly cited by right wing hate groups such as Focus on the Family and American Family Association, when those groups are looking for “expert opinion” to help further their bigoted goals.
Having these people create this diagnostic criteria is the same as having Tony Perkins, of the Family Research council, (Also named as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) write a diagnostic criteria for pathologizing homosexuality.
The weasels are in the hen house on this one, folks.
Perhaps it is time for WPATH, the physicians and surgeons, we rely upon for medical care to rewrite the Standards of Care and change the requirement to say a two hour screening for SRS with a maximum charge of say three hundred dollars US.
Eliminate these vultures who do more harm than good with their bigotry from the process. (TS/TG people as ATMs either from pocket or from Health Care Programs)
Create a new diagnosis or return to simply calling it transsexuality. I’m not miserly when it comes to diagnoses, changing sex and sexual characteristics both primary and secondary covers a lot of different procedures.
After reading Jay Prosser’s Second Skins, I realized that both transsexualism and transgenderism share one thing in common, both are about a way of finding comfort within our own skins.
Dysphoria without all the baggage of the multitextural term “gender” does sort of describe what pushes people to come out as transsexual or transgender. Of course discomfort and a searching for happiness or comfort within one’s own skin is one of those basic freedoms.
Placed in a different context, the requirement that TS/TG people submit to a degrading and stigmatizing label in order to obtain medical treatment is same as the invasive vaginal ultra sound probe before being permitted to obtain an abortion. It is allowing people to insert religion based road blocks between patient and physician.
A ritualized form of abuse, abasement and degradation that violates people’s basic human rights.
That it is mandatory is even worst. It turns psychiatric professionals in to extortionists disguised as caring professionals.
It makes those who accept this abasement, in order to obtain health care coverage for the medical attention they need, into collaborators in their own degradation.
If this were occurring in a vacuum, or if this diagnosis were an isolated matter it would be one thing. It is not.
The creation of sketchy at best psychiatric conditions has become a way of expanding income for the Psychiatric and Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex which is closely partnered with the Health Insurance Industrial Complex.
Prior to the invention of GID/Gender Dysphoria in the latter part of the 1970s. Transsexuals were treated for transsexuality. That’s what it says on my medical reports.
This means I never had either GID or GD because neither had been invented yet.
Some things make sense. I personally think what is called the RLT makes sense. I have a friend who disagrees.
What ever we come up with it should involve input from TS/TG people and our physicians and surgeons not from the psychiatric industry.
Kelley Winter at GID Reform has a new piece up that has a more positive view. See: Gender Dysphoria Diagnosis to be Moved Out of Sexual Disorders Chapter of DSM-5
GD is supposed to be placed in a chapter of its own, no longer linked with sexual dysfunctions and paraphilias (which will also have chapters of their own)
This reclassification, along with the change in title from Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria, is a significant improvement in the diagnostic coding used for access to medical transition care, for trans and transsexual people who need it. Preceding diagnoses of Transsexualism/Gender Identity Disorders were grouped with “psychosexual” disorders in the DSM-III. They were briefly moved to the class of Disorders Usually First Evident in Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence in the DSM-III-R in 1987 but were returned to the sexual disorders chapter in the DSM-IV, and DSM-IV-TR. Community advocates and supportive medical providers have long raised concern that this placement was clinically misleading and reinforced false stereotypes about gender diversity. Gender identity is not specifically related to sexuality, sexual orientation or sexual dysfunction. Political and religious extremists have exploited the sexual disorder grouping in the DSM to sexualize gender diversity and defame trans people as deviant. Trans and transsexual individuals have consequently lost their jobs, homes, families, children, and civil justice.
At the same time the Taliban Christian faction at Life Site News has this gleeful headline: EXCLUSIVE: APA still considers transgenderism a mental disorder, just changed the name
I really wish the APA would take a serious look at the mental health of these fanatical religious nut jobs and just leave TS/TG people alone.
There’s a bunch of other posts from different people I’m going to try to include.
I’m not celebrating and fortunately I’m so many years post-transsexual that I never had to deal with these mindfuckers so look at what a bunch of other folks have to say.
From planetransgender: APA DSM-5: The D word Switcharoo
From Huffington Post: Debating ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ and Justice for Trans People
From Huffington Post: The End of Transgender as a Mental Illness
TRANSBASHING? / No sign of a hate crime, RCMP says
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of a trans woman in New Westminster almost 10 weeks ago.
Charles Jameson “Jamie” Mungo Neel, 20, has been charged with second degree murder.
January Marie Lapuz, 26, was found stabbed in her home in the 500 block of 3rd Ave on Sept 29. She was rushed to hospital, where she died a few hours later.
Neel was arrested on Dec 5 by the RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), which is still investigating the motive for the alleged murder, according to RCMP Sergeant Jennifer Pound.
“This homicide of January Lapuz doesn’t appear to be of a hate crime nature,” Pound tells Xtra. “We’re still looking into what the exact motive is, but at this point we can tell you that it does not appear to be a hate crime.”
Pound told Xtra in September that police were investigating and seeking a man seen fleeing the scene. She said it was too soon to speculate on the motive but noted that Lapuz “was working in the sex trade to some degree.”
“I believe there was advertisements online,” she said. “It’s a high-risk lifestyle, no doubt about that.”
Friends remember Lapuz as a joyful, kind and generous person.
“She was a shining light in Sher Vancouver,” Alex Sangha told Xtra in September.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/us/gay-activists-weigh-possibilities-of-marriage-ruling.html
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: December 8, 2012
LOS ANGELES — Within moments of the announcement on Friday that the Supreme Court would hear two cases relating to same-sex marriage, gay activists rejoiced, heralding the decision as a major advancement for their movement.
“Today’s news is nothing short of a milestone moment for equality,” said Chad Griffin, a champion of the legal challenge to Proposition 8, the California initiative passed in November 2008 that banned same-sex marriage and is now heading to the Supreme Court.
Yet amid the celebration, there were signs of concern over how the Supreme Court might rule. The fact that the Supreme Court is hearing the cases hardly means it is about to ratify same-sex marriage. As supporters and opponents said in interviews, the court might well use these cases to find that there is no constitutional protection for same-sex marriage.
“There is no question that it is a risk,” said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California. “If they nationalize it and reject it, that’s going to take decades to come back to the court.”
As the mayor of San Francisco, Mr. Newsom began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples just over a month after his election in 2004 until he was stopped by the courts.
“I’m going to defer to their expertise rather than my instincts,” Mr. Newsom said. “I think it’s worth the risk.”
Jubilation was tempered with apprehension as the implications of the decision were discussed across the country.
I haven’t given a dime to the bigots of Salvation Army in many years. There are other charities out there and I think LGBT/T people should avoid giving to religious fanatics who turn around and deny LGBT/T people and non-believers assistance or jobs.
By Barbara Weicksel
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Since the Salvation Army is on every street corner and outside every store with their little red kettles trying to reach your heartstrings at this time of the year, I’m thinking perhaps this is the right time to fill you in on the do-gooders who aren’t really such good doers.
Let me state upfront that the Salvation Army has done good work – I don’t deny this – what I’m saying is this… If you’re gay or you support gay rights – you should not put money in the little red kettles.
The Salvation Army has a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians here in the States and elsewhere in the world. Yes, they do offer their services to all who are in need, however if you are a practicing homosexual (having sex) then you are ineligible for full membership in the Salvation Army.
They also believe if you are a Christian and you are attracted to members of the same sex you should embrace celibacy as a way of life. In other words – if you’re gay and having sex – you can’t work for them.
There are also documented cases of pure discrimination of gays and lesbians who went to the Salvation Army for help.
The gay couple was told that help would only come if they broke up and the lesbian couple and their children were told that they had two choices: One of the lesbian women could live on the street and the Salvation Army shelter would take the other lesbian and the children or… they could all sleep on the street.
Continue reading at: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/12/the-salvation-army-doesnt-ring-the-gay-bell/
By David Ferguson
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Friday night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Cooper welcomed Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to discuss Lee’s vote against the United Nations treaty for the “Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” Cooper questioned why Republicans are so dead set against a treaty that would ultimately have no power over established U.S. laws.
“Senator, you said this treaty will somehow change U.S. law or could change U.S. law,” Cooper said. ”Former Republican Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, who helped negotiate this treaty on behalf of President George W. Bush said emphatically it would have no effect on U.S. law, not now, not ever. Is he wrong?”
“Well, I respectfully disagree with the former Attorney General’s conclusions,” Lee said. ”I look at the treaty and I see one provision that arguably sets in place international entitlement rights. Another provision that can be read to undermine the rights of parents to make decisions on how best to educate and otherwise care for their children with disabilities.” Lee argued that another provision could force the U.S. government to provide abortions.
“You’re just interpreting things,” Cooper said. ”It doesn’t use the word ‘abortion.’ It just basically says that disabled people should have the same access to health care that other people have, that non disabled people have overseas.
on December 8, 2012
Michigan, the cradle of the union movement in the United States, is poised to join the ranks of so-called “right-to-work” states. The Koch Brothers’ meat puppet Governor Rick Snyder says that this attack on the political power of unions would be a victory for “freedom.” Unless he’s talking about the freedom to gut the wages of Michigan’s workers, he’s not telling the truth. The bill Snyder poised to sign this week is about restricting the freedom of working people to organize. It even blocks the “freedom” to challenge the bill in a referendum. This is an outrage and the unions are fighting back. Amongst their ranks are the Major League Baseball Player’s Association and the National Football League Player’s Association. This might shock some people. Sports unions are often criticized, incorrectly, for not caring about issues off the field. It’s a piece of “conventional wisdom” that stretches back to the first chief of the AFL-CIO George Meany who said, “I have no use for ball players as union men. You’d never see the day when one of those high priced bozos would honor a picket line.”
I spoke with DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA about his thoughts on the right-to-work issue in January when Indiana became the first rust-belt state to pass their own version of the bill. He said, “When you look at proposed legislation [called] ‘right-to-work’ let’s just put the hammer on the nail. It’s untrue. If [you want] ‘right-to-work’ have a constitutional amendment that guarantees every citizen a job, that’s a ‘right-to-work.’ What this is instead is a right to ensure that ordinary working citizens can’t get together as a team, can’t organize, can’t stand together and can’t fight management on an even playing field. From a sports union, our union, our men and their families understand the power of management and understand how much power management can wield over an individual person. So don’t call it a ‘right-to-work.’ If you want to have an intelligent discussion about what the bill is, call it what it is. Call it an anti-organizing bill. Fine. If that’s what the people want to do in order to put a bill out there, let’s cast a vote on whether or not ordinary workers can get together and represent themselves, and let’s have a real referendum.”
I also asked, DeMaurice Smith how he responded to people who say that this is just unions standing up for other unions with no care for workers. His answer stands as a terrifically important response to those standing with Snyder and the Koch brothers on this issue.
Smith answered, “I used to say that we have forgotten a lot of the lessons from organized labor over the last 100 years, but I’m now convinced that we never learned them. Whether your talking about fire escapes outside of buildings or sprinkler systems inside of buildings, fair wages for a days work, laws that prevent child labor, things that led to the abolishing of sweatshops in America, let alone management contributing to healthcare plans or a decent pension… all those things over the last 100 years were not gifts from management. Someone in a corporate suite didn’t decide one day that they would bestow that wonderful right upon a working person. The way those rights were achieved was through the collective will of a group of workers who stood together and said, ‘This is what we believe is fair, and we are all going to stand together and demand that those things be provided to us. We’ll do it as a collective group. You may be able to pick off one of us or two of us or five of us, but you will not be able to pick off all of us.’ When you look at legislation that is designed to tear apart that ability to work as a team… that is not just anti-union. That is anti–working man and woman, and that’s why we weighed in.”
By Robert Scheer
Dec 7, 2012
Please don’t tell me that these reports in the business press touting Sallie Krawcheck as a front-runner for chairman of the SEC or even a possible candidate to be the next Treasury secretary are true. Who is she? Oh, just another former Citigroup CFO, and therefore a prime participant in the great banking hustle that has savaged the world’s economy. Krawcheck was paid $11 million in 2005 while her bank contributed to the toxic mortgage crisis that would cost millions their jobs and homes.
Not that you would know that sordid history from reading the recent glowing references to Krawcheck in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News that stress her pioneering role as a leading female banker—a working mother no less—but manage to avoid her role in a bank that led the way in destroying the lives of so many women, men and their children. Nor did her financial finagling end with Citigroup, as Krawcheck added a troubling stint in the leadership at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America to her résumé.
A woman who would be an excellent choice as the most experienced as well as principled candidate to head the SEC or Treasury is Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC, who labored to protect consumers rather than undermine them. Indeed, her outstanding book “Bull by the Horns,” chronicling her fight in the last two administrations to hold the banksters accountable, should be required reading for the president and those who are advising him on selecting his new economic team.
The SEC is supposed to supervise the banks rather than abet them in their chicanery. And although the Treasury Department has been a captive of Wall Street lobbyists for most of the modern era, one would expect something better from the second coming of Barack Obama. Those are key appointments in determining whether the president can turn around the still-moribund economy by channeling the spirit of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Or will he continue to plod along on the course set by George W. Bush, bailing out the banks while ignoring beleaguered homeowners and the many other victims of this banking-engineered crisis?
Obama was given a pass on the economy by voters only because Mitt Romney was an even more craven enabler of Wall Street greed. But the outlines of the Bush Wall Street payoff remain in place, with the Federal Reserve continuing to bail out the banks with virtually free money and the purchase of $40 billion in toxic mortgage-based bonds every month to add to the more than trillion dollars in that junk that the Fed previously had taken off the banks’ books.
Last week, retiring Minnesota grocery chain owner Joe Lueken did something unusual: he gave his business to his 400 employees. The story received widespread attention as a heartwarming, It’s A Wonderful Life-esque act of beneficence.
But Lueken’s decision was no one-off Christmas fairytale. In fact, Bob Moore, owner of Oregon-based cereal producer Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, did exactly the same thing two years ago.
Their actions reflect the under-the-radar but growing trend of worker ownership in the United States. The surprising truth is that there are thousands of successful, majority worker-owned businesses in the United States. We’re not just talking small-scale hippie co-ops: the largest majority employee-owned business is Florida-based Publix Super Markets, a $27bn company that employs 152,000 people. That’s more workers than Costco (COST) and Whole Foods (WFM) combined.
At a time of high unemployment, soaring corporate profits and diminishing job quality, employee ownership offers an appealing, viable alternative to mainstream corporate capitalism. It’s a way for workers to own “the means of production” without overthrowing the system – and without asking a gridlocked Congress to create a jobs program.
Far from some communist ideal, employee ownership is an all-American third way that both left and right can embrace. Worker advocates can applaud the model’s more democratic structure, while free marketeers can admire its entrepreneurial spirit.
Workers who directly reap the fruits of their labor – rather than toil for higher returns for anonymous investors – are more motivated, productive, and creative. According to a study by Harvard and Rutgers researchers, companies with substantial employee ownership often outperform those without, because of lower staff turnover and stronger trust relationships at work.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/08-6
Social pain, anger at ecological degradation and the inability of traditional politics to address deep economic failings has fueled an extraordinary amount of practical on-the-ground institutional experimentation and innovation by activists, economists and socially minded business leaders in communities around the country.
A vast democratized “new economy” is slowly emerging throughout the United States. The general public, however, knows almost nothing about it because the American press simply does not cover the developing institutions and strategies.
For instance, a sample assessment of coverage between January and November of 2012 by the most widely circulated newspaper in the United States , the Wall Street Journal, found ten times more references to caviar than to employee-owned firms, a growing sector of the economy that involves more than $800 billion in assets and 10 million employee-owners — around three million more individuals than are members of unions in the private sector.
Worker ownership — the most common form of which involves ESOPs, or Employee Stock Ownership Plans — was mentioned in a mere five articles. By contrast, over 60 articles referred to equestrian activities like horse racing, and golf clubs appeared in 132 pieces over the same period.
Although 2012 was designated by the United Nations as the International Year of the Cooperative — an institution that now has more than one billion members worldwide — the Journal‘s coverage was similarly thin. More than 120 million Americans are members of co-operatives and cooperative credit unions, 30 million more people than are owners of mutual funds. The Journal, however, devoted some 700 articles to mutual funds between January and October and only 183 to cooperatives. Of these the majority were concerned with high-end New York real estate, with headlines like “Pricey Co-ops Find Buyers.”
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/08-6