Robin Roberts Comes Out, Thanks ‘Long Time Girlfriend’ And?

It is almost 2014…

Sometime around two A.M. on the morning of December 31 1968 I came out to some of the best friends I ever had.  I didn’t exactly articulate every thing that rather hysterical night, but I set foot on the path that lead to my coming out and starting the process of changing sex.  The actual coming out as transsexual took a couple of months, initially everyone assumed I was coming out a gay.

That was a long time ago.

That was before Stonewall.

At that point coming out meant something.

It was daring.  We didn’t have same sex marriage in over a third of the states.  We didn’t have all these corporations with non-discrimination policies.

Now we have a national coming out day, which is something meaningful to newbies…  I guess but pretty damn ho-hum to me.

Coming out is meaningful to the person doing it, a statement of self.

But for most of us, the folks who made coming out a common thing…

It has been a long time since coming out was something courageous or daring.  After all being LGBT isn’t strange or alien, it’s just something some people are.

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California Transgender Rights Law Set To Take Effect In State Schools

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/26/california-transgender-law-schools_n_4504265.html

12/26/13

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new law that spells out the rights of transgender students in kindergarten through 12th grade is set to take effect in California on Jan. 1. To get ready, school districts are reviewing locker room layouts, scheduling sensitivity training for staff and reconsidering senior portrait dress codes.

But educators also are watching and waiting. The first-of-its-kind statute could end up suspended within days of its launch if a referendum to repeal it qualifies for the November ballot.

To obtain a public vote on the law, a coalition of conservative groups has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures. Counties have until Jan. 8 to verify them through spot-checking.

The secretary of state can approve the referendum, determine that it failed or order a review of every signature.

 

 

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If memory serves: The 1 percent laughs last, as Wall Street wins again

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2013/12/29/if_memory_swerves_the_1_percent_laughs_last_as_wall_street_wins_again/

Five years after wrecking our economy, the big banks are back. Here’s why we need real government regulations


Sunday, Dec 29, 2013

September 15 marked five years since the beginning of the economic slump that defines the world we live in. Disaster was in the air already by that day in 2008: real-estate values had been falling for some time, Bear Stearns and several big commercial banks had failed, and the government had taken over the mortgage insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the previous week. But that Monday morning in September was when the larger economy went over a cliff — after Lehman Brothers, the nation’s fourth largest investment bank, finally succumbed to the effects of the noxious securities on which it had gorged itself for years.

Later that day, in a climate of almost complete panic, Merrill Lynch — the nation’s third-largest investment bank, which had fed at the same trough — managed to find shelter in the arms of Bank of America. By the next day, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department announced that they were saving AIG, the mammoth insurance company that had transformed itself into a stealth hedge fund. As for actual hedge funds, more than 700 of them collapsed in the subsequent four months. And Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the last two investment-banking leviathans, desperately registered themselves as “bank holding companies” and threw themselves upon the mercy of the all-forgiving Fed.

It was the unavoidable explosion after decades of deregulation and willful blindness. A kind of waste product had been deliberately moved through the bowels of a hundred shady mortgage outfits. It was then gilded by delusional ratings agencies and sold to the world by the most respected names in finance. Bribery and deceit and crazy incentives had been the laxatives that pushed this product down the pipe; money and bonhomie and reassuring economic theory had been the sedatives that put the regulators to sleep.

The industry would supervise itself, we were told — and we believed it. Instead our economic order turned out to be wobbly, even rotten. The great banks looked insolvent. The great capitalists looked like criminals.

Then came a second outrage to rival the first. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who had been effectively promoted to king by a frantic George W. Bush, demanded and received $700 billion from Congress to resuscitate the banks run by his former colleagues on Wall Street. There was a class of businesses, we learned, that could not be allowed to fail, no matter what kinds of suicide missions they undertook; and there was a class of people who could not be held responsible for their deeds, no matter how they beggared the world or deceived their marks. That this class’s chosen public persona was one of churlish, sniggering contempt for the non-crooks who were now required to rescue them only compounded the shock.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2013/12/29/if_memory_swerves_the_1_percent_laughs_last_as_wall_street_wins_again/

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