Friday Night Fun and Culture: Kat Edmonson

I guess it says something about me that I’ve never seen American Idol or any of those various shows but that I am frequently turned on to new artists when they appear on PBS Austin City Limits.

Last night they split the show with Norah Jones and an artist I was unfamiliar with, Kat Edmonson.

Instant love…  Very jazz singer and really neat.


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RI House of Representatives Pass Same-Sex Marriage Bill

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Obama’s Second Inaugural Address and My Personal Journey From the Stonewall to the National Mall

From Huffington Post:


One of the advantages of age is that you no longer need history texts to put history into context. For instance, after the assassination of President Kennedy, I delved into the earlier assassinations in American history. Having lived through that, then the Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy murders, I no longer needed textbooks to know how to feel about those atrocities. The lived experience was far more searing than any history or recreation would ever be.

Standing on the Capitol grounds listening to Obama’s second inaugural address, I heard the president say:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths, that all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall, just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone, to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

The president, 150 years after Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and 50 years after Dr. King’s grand moment on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, named a Methodist church in upstate New York, a bridge in Alabama and a bar in Greenwich Village as way stations along America’s road toward fully upholding the ideal that all are created equal. Not only did he highlight the unalterable link between the LGBT civil rights movement and both the women’s and African-American civil rights movements, which has the potential to revise the way black and white Americans engage with the LGBT rights movement, but he alliteratively identified our quest for equal rights as gay and trans Americans as part of the fundamental quest for freedom that is America. I can’t imagine any rhetorical device more powerful than that.

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Misogyny, intimidation, silencing – the realities of online bullying

From The New Statesman UK:

The aggregated effect of floods of negative comments online can be enough to put opinionated women off appearing in public.

By Jane Fae
22 January 2013

Last night I was chatting online, offering support to a friend who had just been bullied off Twitter. Nobody famous. Just an ordinary, everyday sort of woman who has taken the nastiness that life has dealt her over the last few years and come through it. Smiling? Mostly. But also vulnerable.

As an active feminist, she deals with anonymous abuse – she gets a fair bit of that, from the EDL and their hangers-on – and though it’s not nice, she copes. What got to her this time, though, was the viciousness of “friends” when called out on their refusal to condemn violence against women and joke polls about “people you’d most like to kill”.

Hilarious. Only she is far from alone. My own friends list is full of people – mostly women – whose activism has led to them being targeted: whose failure to “get a joke” turns them instantly into the butt of one themselves. I’ve been on the receiving end, too, very recently. Of online abuse. Of intimidation. Though nowhere on the scale of that endured by better known columnists such as Julie Bindel, who has been threatened yet again this past weekend.

So forgive me if I don’t join with those suggesting Suzanne Moore “man up” in response to the latest batch of online abuse. Or dissing Mary Beard, who has come in for abuse following her appearance on Question Time last week, as an online wimp. It’s an issue – and the simplistic analysis I have seen of it so far doesn’t go a fraction of the way to address it.

First up, there is something disturbingly misogynistic about online bullying. Yes: blokes, male columnists, undoubtedly get it too. But it feels as though there is something far more vicious, gender-related with respect to what women have to endure.

Beard makes the point well, in a blog responding to her own online treatment. It is clear that she is no stranger to tired old jokes about her appearance – but even she has been shocked about the response she evoked, describing the level of misogyny as “truly gobsmacking”. The focus of much of the abuse is sexual, sadistic even and, she adds: “it would be quite enough to put many women off appearing in public, contributing to political debate”

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See also: Pharyngula:  “It’s about misogyny. It’s about intimidation. It’s about silencing.”

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Sadie, 11-Year-Old Transgender Girl, Writes Essay In Response To Obama’s Inauguration Speech

From Huffington Post:


Barack Obama made history on Monday when he became the first president to speak about the Stonewall uprising and the gay rights struggle during an inaugural speech.

While many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community were thrilled with the mentions, an 11-year-old transgender girl named Sadie wondered why the President didn’t directly address trans people, too.

“Sadie was so proud of President Obama for including the gay community in his inaugural address on Monday; however, she felt like the trans community wasn’t included,” Sage, Sadie’s mother, told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “That inspired her to write her own ‘speech.'”

The speech, which began making the rounds on the Internet soon after the President spoke and was published in full on the TransGriot site, reads:

“The world would be a better place if everyone had the right to be themselves, including people who have a creative gender identity and expression. Transgender people are not allowed the freedom to do things everyone else does, like go to the doctor, go to school, get a job, and even make friends.

Transgender kids like me are not allowed to go to most schools because the teachers think we are different from everyone else. The schools get afraid of how they will talk with the other kids’ parents, and transgender kids are kept secret or told not to come there anymore. Kids are told not to be friends with transgender kids, which makes us very lonely and sad.

When they grow up, transgender adults have a hard time getting a job because the boss thinks the customers will be scared away. Doctors are afraid of treating transgender patients because they don’t know how to take care of them, and some doctors don’t really want to help them. Transgender patients like me travel to other states to see a good doctor.

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See also TransGriot:  Sadie’s Dream For The World

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Scott Lively, ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill Supporter, Says ‘Right To Sodomy’ Is Destroying Human Rights

The main pillars of Christo-Fascist theology are misogyny, racism and homophobia.  They also most seem the antithesis of actual Christianity.  Their religion seems based on hating their neighbor and doing on to them in a way they would never want others to do unto them.

From Huffington Post:


A controversial evangelical currently on trial for crimes against humanity has written a new online column in which he claims that same-sex marriage and LGBT equality will signal the end of human rights.

Scott Lively, a U.S. evangelist and outspoken supporter of Uganda’s extreme political persecution of gays and lesbians, published his article entitled “The Death of Human Rights” on Jan. 21 for Defend the Family International, a site closely affiliated with Lively.

The essay begins with a shot at “left wing activists” using International Human Rights Day as a way to “attack Christianity and champion sexual perversion.” Religious freedoms and family values have been protected for 4,000 years, according to Lively, while “the ‘right’ of homosexuality is an invention of modern liberalism.”

Lively then goes to cite the Magna Carta, the early 13th century English document said to have influenced the Founding Fathers. The self-proclaimed “human rights attorney” blamed the rise of the gay movement and its “right to sodomy” for the collapse of the principles outlined in the British treaties:

This principle [or religious freedom], established in the bedrock of British jurisprudence in 1215, stood unshakable for nearly 800 years until the rise of the “gay” movement which has in just the past decade achieved the power to redefine religious liberty as “homophobia” and to crush it under the heels of its pink jackboots.

The only thing standing between human rights and the homosexual agenda, Lively writes, is the First Amendment, “the last bastion of freedom for Christians:”

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Scotland Catholic adoption agency told stop gay ban or close down

From Gay Star News:

A Catholic adoption agency has been told by Scotland’s Charity Regulator that if it doesn’t lift its ban on applications from gay couples it will lose its charitable status

By Dan Littauer
23 January 2013

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has ruled that St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow is directly discriminating against LGBT people by excluding them from becoming adopters.

The ruling follows a complaint from the National Secular Society.

The Scottish Charity Regulator’s head of registration, Martin Tyson, was quoted as saying on the BBC: ‘We acknowledge the valuable service provided by this charity, but the fact is that all charities must comply with the law, including the Equality Act 2010.

‘Where we find this is not the case, we have a duty to act.

‘We hope that the charity will respond positively and take the necessary action so that it remains in the Scottish Charity Register’.

The regulator has issued a direction to St Margaret’s, instructing it to amend its procedures and assessment criteria to meet the requirements of the Equality Act.

It has until 22 April 2013 to do so or risk losing its charitable status.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said it had been informed of the regulator’s findings.

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