Friday Night Fun and Culture: Labor Songs for Labor Day Weekend

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WTF? “Transgender Service Must be a Priority” Really? Why?

Once again the Drums of War are sounding.

Once again the War Lovers are pleading with us trying to con us into yet another war.

We must enjoin this noble cause against Assad in Syria because he is gassing members of the Islamic Brotherhood.

Pardon my confusion but isn’t the Islamic Brotherhood a bunch of women oppressing LGBT killing fundamentalists?

Who is going to pay for this grand adventure?

Is it really a noble cause to kill people with bombs and drones to teach them that killing is wrong?

I’m friend with a number of trans-vets including Brynn Tannehill, who wrote the Huffington Post piece that stirred my cynicism.  Not that it needed much stirring.  I generally view all militarism with skepticism and I am definitely cynical when it comes to any President calling upon us to engage in any noble cause that includes bombing or invading another country.

Why should working to get TS/TG folks the ability to serve openly in the military be our first priority?

I’ve been told by numerous trans-activists that it was a mistake to focus on marriage equality and that we should be focusing on passing a trans-inclusive ENDA instead.

TS/TG folks, mainly women on the low end of the economic scale, who are often doing sex work are still being murdered at an alarming rate, but now we are supposed to make TS/TG folk’s ability to serve in the military our highest priority.

Here’s a thought.

There are a lot more TS/TG folks than previously thought.

We have all sorts of different priorities.

Just look at the divergence of views regarding Chelsea Manning.  I view her as a hero.  Many in the TS/TG’s in the military movement regard her as a traitor.

TS/TG people in the military?  Go for it, but I’ve been an anti-war activist since 1962.  Don’t expect me to join your cause.  it isn’t my cause nor do I consider it at or even near the top priority for the various TS/TG communities.

We need jobs, housing, security, medical care along with the right to marry and have a social support system.

Many of us are anti-war.  Many of us are left wing and are anti-militarism.

The priorities of TS/TG people in the military are not our priorities.  Some of us want to end the senseless wars and slice the military budget to fund social programs.



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Transgender Service Must be a Priority

From Huffington Post:


There is an exceptionally long tradition in western culture of service being a requirement for full participation in public life. In ancient Athens, only citizens with the right to vote were allowed to serve as hoplites. In Sparta only free men could serve. During the Roman Empire, having the same legal rights as other native Romans required providing military service. This cultural narrative of “service guarantees citizenship,” is still evident in modern times: in literature, film, and in civil rights movements.

Executive Order 9981, which began the process of desegregating the military, was signed by President Truman in 1947. This became one of the starting points for the civil rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1976, the service academies admitted the first female cadets and midshipmen. Over time this integration led to greater and greater roles for women in the military. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth represents the impact of these shifts in how we see women in the military. The end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) was a significant factor in recent gains for lesbian and gay Americans. The argument that lesbian and gay families in the military were being adversely affected by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) appears to have significantly swayed Justice Kennedy, the key swing vote on the Supreme Court.

It isn’t difficult to see why military service has an effect on how we think about groups of people. Being a military officer is seen as one of the most ethical and respected professions in America.

For transgender Americans, though, full participation in public life still eludes us. Even our legal ability to safely perform necessary bodily functions is considered debatable. By every statistical measure, every survey, every poll, we are the untouchables of this society. Even people who despise us acknowledge that being transgender is a massive life penalty. In general, attempts to enact specific protections for transgender people either fail, or are met with an extreme backlash. Transgender people in the media are usually at best treated as a punch line; at worst regarded as a danger to women and children.

The level of dehumanization is such that when transgender people are attacked in hate crimes, the perpetrators are much more likely to follow all the way through to murder. However, most of the ways that lesbians and gays gained acceptance are not available to us. We don’t have lovable celebrities like Ellen and George. We have very few (positive) transgender characters in the media. We are rare and often closeted, and as such very few people actually say they know a transgender person.

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Same-Sex Married Couples To Get Federal Tax Recognition Regardless Of State

From Huffington Post:


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Thursday that when it comes to taxes, it will recognize same-sex couples’ marriages even if they live in a state that does not.

The decision, which was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, marks the latest political progress for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Prior to this spring, the Internal Revenue Service did not recognize same-sex married couples pursuant to section 3 of DOMA. Once DOMA was overturned in June, the question became: What about same-sex married couples who moved to a state that didn’t recognize their marriage (a couple married in Massachusetts who moved to Arkansas, for example)?

Thursday’s ruling by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew provides a uniform policy for the IRS; the state of celebration — where the wedding took place — now trumps the state of residency when it comes to federal tax status for same-sex married couples.

“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” Lew said in a statement. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

The new policy, which was first shared by Lew in a conference call that included LGBT advocates, holds a bit of political significance. It was the burden of federal tax law on same-sex couples, after all, that prompted the legal challenge to DOMA in the first place.

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Gay Spouses Have Equal Access To Nursing Facilities Through Medicare, HHS Memo States

From On Top:

Carlos Santoscoy
Published: August 29, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday issued a memo clarifying that gay spouses have equal access to skilled nursing facilities through Medicare Advantage.

The policy change comes two months after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

“HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”

As of Thursday, private companies that contract with Medicare to cover services offered in a skilled nursing facility must provide equally coverage to all legally married couples, regardless of whether the state that they live in allows gay couples to marry.

“Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Prior to this, a beneficiary in a same-sex marriage enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan did not have equal access to such coverage and, as a result, could have faced time away from his or her spouse or higher costs because of the way that marriage was defined for this purpose.”

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Is the NSA surveillance program really about spying on environmentalists?

Or is it more like Cointelpro:  Disrupt, demoralize and destroy.

Like the newly minted Eco-Feminist/Radical Feminists and their attacks on TS/TG people within the environmental movement.

From Grist:

By 26 Aug 2013

At the Guardian, Nafeez Ahmed, executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, has an idea about what might be driving the massive expansion of the NSA’s domestic surveillance program that we’ve learned so much about lately. It’s not concerns about religious fundamentalists who hate America. Instead, he suggests, the government is worried about environmental activism:

But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis — or all three.

Who would have thunk? It turns out the U.S. government is worried about climate change, after all. At least if being worried about climate change lets them use all their cool spy gear.

Across the government, security professionals are fretting about natural disasters and global oil shortfalls, Ahmed explains. The Department of Defense has written that “climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked.” They’re nervous about what this means: What are people going to do when they realized they’re, to use the technical term, totally screwed? The Army’s Strategic Studies Institute has suggested that, in the case of a total freak-out, it might be necessary to “use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States.”

Who are those hostiles? Why, they might just be environmentalists.

The government tends to see environmentalists in one of two ways. They’re either harmless hippie treehuggers who can easily be ignored or dangerous eco-terrorists who need to be watched. The defense and intelligence people incline toward the latter view.

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Could this explain the Radical Feminist trans-hatred cropping up at Deep Green Resistance?

See Deep Green Resistance: Kim D.: The Violence of GenderFAQ: Radical Feminism

The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities

From New York Magazine:

After 9/11, the NYPD built in effect its own CIA—and its Demographics Unit delved deeper into the lives of citizens than did the NSA.


By Matt Apuzzo & Adam Goldman
Published Aug 25, 2013

On the morning of September 11, the detectives of the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Division traveled in force toward the burning towers of the World Trade Center, the biggest crime scene in American history, to find absolutely nothing for themselves to do. The city had been quickly cordoned off. Some made it as far as Chambers Street. Others were stopped at Canal Street. “Stand by,” they were told. They milled about for hours, waiting for orders that never came. Finally, a contingent of officers was dispatched toward ground zero with garbage cans to collect guns and equipment left by fallen first responders.

Later in the day, a group of them gathered at the Police Academy, where Deputy Chief John Cutter told them to start contacting their informants. At that moment, it may have been the only possible command—which didn’t mean it was a useful one. Despite the name, the Intelligence Division was mostly concentrated on gangs and drug dealers, as well as providing a glorified chauffeur service for visiting dignitaries. International terrorism had never been part of their purview.

But they had to start somewhere, and the detectives did what they were told, reaching out to their network of informants—dope dealers and gang members—to ask what they knew about the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

For the next few months, the Intel cops worked alongside the FBI out of makeshift command centers aboard the decommissioned USS Intrepid and in an FBI parking garage, where detectives sat on the concrete floor, responding to a flood of tips pouring in from a public consumed with the possibility of another attack, questioning Muslims whose neighbors suddenly deemed them suspicious.

When Ray Kelly was sworn in as police commissioner in January 2002, one of his first goals was to eliminate that kind of aimless fumbling. The first man to rise from cadet to police commissioner and the first person to hold the top job twice, Kelly was police commissioner under Mayor David Dinkins, when terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the garage below the World Trade Center’s North Tower in 1993.

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